Rebel Mbokani refusing to play in friendly games for Liege

Striker Dieumerci Mbokani has told Standard Liege that he will not be playing for them during pre-season.

Birmingham and Lazio are said to be leading the chase for his services and, as a precaution, Mbokani has told Standard that he will not be playing in any friendly matches for them this summer - but he would train with them.

"What is the point in playing in exhibition games, that is no good - I risk getting an injury," declared Mbokani.

"Since last week I have been training with full devotion and please, it is not my intention to pollute the group with a bad atmosphere.

"I just won't play in the friendly games, it makes no sense for someone who is leaving."

Standard are not too happy with Mbokani's stance and their chief executive Pierre Francois said: "He says he does not want to play friendly matches because he is about to leave.

"That argument makes sense only if the transfer just needs a signature, but that is not the case.

"The practice matches have value for all players. The discipline must be respected by everyone, he knows that and if necessary we will remind him."

"My agent has talked with Lazio and I talked with Birmingham," he said.

Mbokani had previously said he wanted to move to Craven Cottage, but a deal with Fulham is now not on the agenda.

"It is also not correct that there was contact with Fulham. Pierre Francois has assured me that he and Luciano D'Onofrio [another Standard director] were in London but just talked about another player and not with Fulham, not about me.

"They have no reason to lie to me about something and I have no reason to doubt his words."

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