Lucas Hernandez would only link up with France’s national team if he was fully fit, says Bayern Munich team-mate Benjamin Pavard, who was reluctant to become embroiled in the club-versus-country row.
Versatile defender Hernandez was called up by Les Bleus for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern’s past two Bundesliga matches with a knee injury.
Bayern were told by the French Football Federation (FFF) that Hernandez would have to travel to Paris for medical checks after the club initially refused to allow him to link up with the national team.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic described himself as “irritated” by the FFF’s stance and Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said Hernandez would not be fit to play.
France coach Didier Deschamps said he sympathised with Bayern’s concerns, but refused to rule out the possibility of Hernandez facing Iceland in Reykjavik on Friday.
Club and international team-mate Pavard said he has been assured by Hernandez he is good condition, though preferred not to take sides in the row.
“If he’s here, it means that he’s fit. Bayern didn’t want to take any chances,” he told a news conference.
“He tells me that everything is fine. After, what happens between Bayern and the France team, it’s not my problem.
“When he goes on X-rays, I don’t know what Lucas has on his knees!
“He said he could play on one leg. It’s Lucas, we all know he’s a warrior. If he’s here, he can play.”
Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has claimed that Hernandez should be spared international duty, saying: “I am irritated by the behaviour of the French federation.
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“I would like to point out that Lucas Hernandez was not able to play in the Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur last Tuesday in London, nor in our Bundesliga match against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.
“The statement quoted by France coach Didier Deschamps was for Lucas Hernandez to be ready to ‘play with one leg’, which was very surprising to us.
“Of the four requested French national players, of course, we will send the three healthy players – Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard.”