BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian league leaders Steaua Bucharest say they will not release defenders Vlad Chiriches and Florin Gardos for the national team’s winter training camp and an unofficial friendly in February.
Romania coach Victor Piturca has already announced his plans to include Chiriches, Gardos and team mate Cristian Tanase in his squad for the camp and the games against Poland on February 2 and Iceland on February 6, which will be held in Malaga.
However, Steaua are reluctant to release the defensive duo for the Poland match, which is not on world governing body FIFA’s calendar, as they will be preparing for their Europa League clashes with Ajax Amsterdam on February 14 and February 21.
"We had a discussion and he (Piturca) asked me to release some players from our training camp in (the Turkish resort) Antalya but we really need them because the Ajax game is on February 14," Steaua coach Laurenţiu Reghecampf told local media on Thursday.
"We can only release Tanase as he’s suspended for the first match against Ajax. I understand Piturca but he’ll have enough time to prepare the players for the matches against Hungary and Netherlands, scheduled for the end of March."
Romania, who have not qualified for the World Cup finals since 1998, are third in qualifying Group D with nine points from four matches, three points behind leaders Netherlands.
The Balkan side will resume their campaign on March 22 with a much-anticipated visit to second-placed neighbours Hungary, who also have nine points. They visit Netherlands four days later.
(Writing by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Justin Palmer)
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