Degenek not tempted by Bundesliga interest

Olyroo Milos Degenek had interest from clubs in Italy and the Bundesliga in January but says he’s happy at German second tier strugglers 1860 Munich for now. 

The 21-year-old defender/midfielder has fallen out of the 1860 starting XI in recent weeks with boss Benno Mohlmann preferring more experienced options as the club fights relegation. 

Degenek had been a regular throughout the first half of the season, making 20 appearances, prompting his maiden Olyroos call-up in late August. 

The talented Serbia-born AIS product may have lost his first team spot in his debut season at 1860 but he has done enough to impress rival clubs. 

“In January there was a fair bit of interest from other clubs and other countries and here as well,” Degenek told FourFourTwo.  

“But I thought it’d be best if I stayed and kept working here.” 

Degenek, who joined 1860 in August after a spell with VfB Stuttgart, has another 18 months to run on his current deal. 

“There’s no need to be panicking or rushing things now,” he said.  

“Eventually there is a time when you think it’s time to go on to bigger and better things, but when that happens the time will be right.” 

He added that the interest was nice recognition amid frustration around losing his first XI spot and being told by 1860 he couldn’t join the Olyroos’ Rio Olympics qualifying campaign in Qatar. 

“You feed off the interest,” he said. “You’re happy when other clubs look at you and other people talk about you.” 

Degenek was one of a number of Olyroos who missed January’s failed AFC Under-23 Championship campaign, with European clubs not permitting their release as the tournament wasn’t on official FIFA dates.

“I was a bit upset I couldn’t go with the national team to Qatar for the qualifiers,” Degenek said.

“But being at the club for six months and being a young player at the start of my professional career, I had to respect it and can’t complain and say I want to do other things.

“You have to listen to the club because they’re the ones who pay my bills.”

Degenek was back on the bench in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Union Berlin, with experienced 29-year-old Kai Bulow preferred in central midfield.

The Lions are second last on the 2.Bundesliga table on the back of five successive losses.

“I’ve spoken to the coach a fair few times and he wants experienced players,” Degenek said.

“He said I’ve just got to be patient. 

“We’re in a tough situation at the moment. He said it’s got nothing to do with how I’ve played, but rather he wants someone more experienced, who has lived those situations where they’re bottom of the league and struggling. 

“I’m not losing any hope. It’s difficult, I played all 20 games and then to be not in the team is difficult, but he’s an experienced coach and he’s told me to be patient and I have to trust him.

“The two players playing in my position are 30 and 29-years-old. I’m 21, so they’ve got nine or 10 years more experience than me. They’ve got 200 Bundesliga games under their belts, I’ve got 20.

“I obviously want to play. I don’t like being left out. I have to deal with it now. I have to just wait and stay fit.”