Merkel uncertain over his Udinese future

Udinese midfielder Alexander Merkel is unsure whether he has a future with the club after struggling to impress coach Francesco Guidolin during pre-season training.

The former AC Milan midfielder, 21, joined the Zebrette from Genoa last January, but he was given only limited opportunities towards the tail-end of last season.

The chances of him breaking into the first team on a more regular basis in the coming campaign would appear slim and he is now considering a move abroad.

“My agent has held talks with clubs in Russia and Germany, but my focus this pre-season was just on working hard because my aim was to make the grade here,” he is quoted as saying by calcionews24.it. “Now I’m just waiting to hear what the coach has to say.

“I would not be happy to leave a club like Udinese, but it seems like the coach doesn’t count on me. It’s a shame because I’m a player who always wants to play. I would consider any offer which arrives for me.”

Merkel had arrived from Genoa seeking regular football in a side that was pushing for a place in Europe rather than fighting against relegation. Instead, he made just one start and four brief appearances from the bench.

“I honestly have no idea why,” he said. “When I arrived here last winter, I knew it would be hard since I was joining a team that was already very settled and solid. That’s why I was patient, but now I’ve taken part in all of pre-season and I don’t think I’ve done so badly.”