Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has said he is unsure why midfielder Renato Sanches made public complaints about his lack of minutes so far this season.
After coming on as a late substitute against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga opener on Friday, Sanches told Sport1 (h/t MailOnline's Adam Shergold) that "five minutes is not enough" and his situation at the Allianz Arena is "not good."
Salihamidzic has hit back at the Portugal international and outlined the opportunities he's had so far this term, per Ryan Benson of Goal:
"Renato has played three times since the start of the season. Against Borussia Dortmund he was subbed on, in the DFB-Pokal he started and this weekend, although it was only for five minutes, he was also subbed on.
"Therefore, I didn't really understand why he had to make these remarks. We will see [if he stays], I already explained on Monday that we'll keep all our options open until September 2 [when the transfer window closes]. Other than that, I don't want to say much more about it."
Bayern recently unveiled new midfield signing Mickael Cuisance. The acquisition of the Frenchman will only add more competition to what is a stacked section of the Munich squad:
The comments from Salihamidzic are of a similar theme to those of chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who said the 22-year-old needs to "calm down."
Few would have anticipated Sanches' career being at such a precarious point after the summer of 2016. The midfielder was regarded as one of the best prospects in world football, having agreed to move to Bayern and shone for Portugal on their way to UEFA European Championship glory.
Sanches moved to Swansea City on loan for the 2017-18 season and struggled with life in the Premier League. Last term, he made 17 appearances in the German top flight, although only four of them were starts.
In pre-season there were some signs of Sanches rediscovering form, as he netted against Fenerbahce:
He also grabbed a brace, although as Portuguese football journalist Tom Kundert noted, the opposition left much to be desired:
Given he's not impressed consistently when given chances and now he's made his dissatisfaction with his situation known, there doesn't appear to be a clear path towards Sanches becoming a first-team regular at Bayern.
Salihamidzic appeared coy on whether Sanches will remain at the club, although at this juncture it feels like a parting of the ways would suit all parties, even though Sanches has until 2022 to run on his Bayern contract.
If he is to rediscover the spark and dynamism that made him such a force as a teenager, you sense a new chapter needs to begin imminently.