Löwen officially bid for KarabaticArticle
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Kiel say the Frenchman will stay, the player wants to change. Read the latest on the developing transfer(?) story.

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Löwen officially bid for Karabatic

No day without statements, rumours and new details about the future of Nikola Karabatic in Germany. Since the World Championship in Croatia the magazines are full of the 24-year old French World Champion and Olympics winner, who has a contract until 2012 at THW Kiel.

A very appreciated playerWhat has happened? The Rhein Neckar Löwen at first said that Karabatic is an interesting player for them, especially after Noka Serdarusic signed a contract as new coach starting from next season.

Everybody knows that Serdarusic was one of the reasons for Karabatic to move from Montpellier to Kiel some years ago. Both families have known each other very well and Karabatic often said that Serdarusic is “some kind of dad” for him.

In June 2008, THW Kiel sacked Serdarusic. Already one day after this happened, Karabatic said that he felt very disappointed. And then everything kept calm until Serdarusic signed a contract with the “Löwen”.

Since then there’s a struggle between the two clubs, managers and – in between – player Nikola Karabatic. After he said before the World Championship that he would like to leave Kiel, the THW management tried everything to keep the World Player of the Year in Kiel.

At first manager Uwe Schwenker said that there had been no contact or bid by the “Löwen”. On the website of Karabatic the Frenchman published his opinion:

“I’m very disappointed with the behaviour of Kiel. As I extended my contract until 2012 they told me that Noka would remain the coach until then. And then they sacked him. They played with false cards.”

Schwenker returned:

Father figure for Karabatic, key figure for the case“There is no special part of the contract to suggest that the future of Karabatic would be linked to the future of Serdarusic.”

Karabatic said in contrast to this that he wants to change clubs immediately after this season and wants to go to Serdarusic.

“It’s not a matter of money; it’s a matter of friendship. If it would have been a matter of money, I would have changed to Ciudad Real. They offered much more money than Löwen.”

After Karabatic returned from the World Championship to Kiel, there was a long talk with Uwe Schwenker last Friday – and the club published the following news:

“Everything is okay, we discussed everything. And Nikola will stay in Kiel; he will not leave the club right now.”

On Saturday Kiel played against Balingen (and won), Karabatic scored six times – but was very unhappy with the club management.

“They published wrong news. I never said that I would stay in Kiel. I want to move to the club of Noka. The club is not fair with me. The club does what they want.”

In the meantime “Löwen” manager Thorsten Storm said that the club and Karabatic agreed on everything; the only open question is the release fee of Kiel.

Rumours say that this fee would be somewhere between one and two million Euro. Uwe Schwenker said before that there had been no exact bid from the Löwen side. And Storm said that the sum Kiel wanted to have was “absurd”.

On Tuesday, Löwen made a new bid – but nobody published a sum.

“Now it’s on Kiel side what will happen,” manager Storm said.

So the story of this triangle, Kiel – Löwen – Karabatic, will go on with the next chapter.

TEXT: Björn Pazen