Former Liverpool midfielder gets suspension until end of season

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Former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been suspended by Werder Bremen until the end of the season and imposed a “significant fine” on him for declining to accompany the team for Sunday’s Bundesliga fixture against Bayer Leverkusen.

The club stated that upon learning he would not be in the starting lineup for the match, Keita, 29, opted to return home instead.

Werder Bremen lost 5-0 as Leverkusen were crowned Bundesliga champions.

“We won’t tolerate Naby’s behaviour,” said football director Clemens Fritz.

“He let his team down in a time of difficulty surrounding our recent run of form and squad availability and put his own interests above those of the team.

“We can’t allow that. At this stage of the season, we need full focus on the remaining games and a team who stick together. That’s why we’ve been left with no alternative.”

As part of his punishment, the Guinea international will be excluded from team training sessions and will not have access to the first-team dressing room.

Keita, who joined 12th-placed Werder in June 2023 following five seasons at Liverpool, has only made five league appearances for the German side, with just one start.