1. FC Union Berlin and Max Kruse will go their separate ways with immediate effect. Shortly before the end of the transfer window, the 33-year-old striker informed the club of his wishes to leave the club following an offer from VfL Wolfsburg.
Kruse returned to Germany from Fenerbahce in 2020 and made himself comfortable at Union Berlin. In his first season with the club, he scored 11 goals in 22 Bundesliga matches – his five assists added to his scorer points in the Bundesliga. A late header to defeat RB Leipzig 2-1 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei sent 1. FC Union Berlin into the UEFA Europa Conference League. This season, Kruse’s excellent form has continued with five goals in the Bundesliga, two in the DFB-Pokal and two in the Conference League. Kruse leaves Union after 45 appearances for the club, scoring 19 in total. He will join Wolfsburg, who he played for in the season 2015/16.
“To everybody from the club that I’m leaving: I came to Berlin one-and-a-half years ago because I wanted to join this club - 1. FC Union Berlin. Hardly anyone understood or believed that when I moved here. I have always given everything I can here and I’m also very proud and happy where we are now in the table. I thank you all for your trust in me, and now I ask for your understanding for my decision to accept an offer that is long-term and well remunerated. In addition, it’s about a club where I still have a chapter open that I can now write to an end. No decision is easy and I know what is ahead of me now, but that’s my decision. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all Union players and I’m sure the team will finish the season successfully,” said Max Kruse.
“Max Kruse has found his way back to the Bundesliga via Union and helped us a lot with his experience,” added Oliver Ruhnert, 1. FC Union Berlin’s Managing Director for Professional Football. “His departure hits us unexpectedly and it will be a demanding task to compensate for this loss in sporting terms. However, he really wanted to make this change now, so we have come to an agreement with VfL Wolfsburg. We thank Max for his achievements in Union colours and wish him all the best, both professionally and privately.”
1. FC Union Berlin president Dirk Zingler continued: “The most successful sporting and economically valuable phase in our club’s history is also thanks to Max Kruse, along with many players, coaches and staff who we will not forget. However, if he now intentionally decides against the opportunity to make further history with Union, we accept that. The task of the 1. FC Union Berlin executive committee is to safeguard the interests of this club. For all transfers, we do this in consultation with the Managing Director for Professional Football and the Head Coach. We have mutually agreed to the decision not to foe Max to stay against his will, but to have the sporting loss adequately compensated financially.
Kruse will travel to Wolfsburg on Monday to sign and complete his medical.