RB Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin rejects France U21 call-up
Jean-Kevin Augustin's international future with France is in doubt after the RB Leipzig striker sent a text message to under-21 coach Sylvain Ripoll saying he was rejecting a call-up.
Augustin was excluded from the squad a year ago after a heated exchange during a game with Ripoll. He returned in March and scored twice in UEFA Under-21 Euro 2019 qualifying wins over Kazakhstan and Montenegro, and was selected for upcoming games against Bulgaria and Luxembourg.
However, Ripoll told L'Equipe former Paris Saint-Germain forward sent him a text message on Sunday, the day before he was due to report, saying he would not be coming, claiming "muscle fatigue" meant he could not play.
"I take note and I will draw the necessary sporting conclusions, they're not acceptable excuses," Ripoll said. "It doesn't fit with the attitude I want to give this team. I have repeated from the start that I want to go forward with players who want to be here, who have the desire to commit themselves to the national team."
Augustin scored his second goal in as many Bundesliga games in Leipzig's 1-1 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday.
France are 11 points clear in their group and on the verge of qualifying for a U21 Euro for the first time since 2006.
Should Ripoll successfully qualify for the tournament, Augustin will most likely have to watch his former teammates from the sidelines.
Ripoll said that in the wake of Adrien Rabiot's decision to reject the chance to be on standby for France's World Cup squad, he is not worried Augustin will not be the only one to take such a move.
"I'm just saying he told me of his decision, that's his choice, and I don't think the reasons are acceptable," Ripoll said. "I just take note. I'll draw conclusions from there. We'll see what happens. I haven't really analysed that. I'm focused on the days to come."