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Balotelli on compassionate leave

Liverpool
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By ESPN Staff

Director Finke leaves Cologne

Cologne have parted company with their director of sport Volker Finke by mutual consent after Saturday's 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin.

•  FC Cologne 1-0 Hertha Berlin

The club announced on their website that "contrasting views'' had led to the decision to go their separate ways after recent discussions between Finke and the club's board regarding the sporting future of the club.

Cologne will release a statement on Sunday explaining the reasons behind the move and the action they will take to replace Finke, however his relationship with the club's coach Stale Solbakken is likely to be at the root of the decision.

Finke and Solbakken have hardly seen eye-to-eye since the director of sport bought North Korea international Jong Tae-se without consulting the coach during the winter break.

Solbakken admitted the pair only had a "professional'' relationship, but tensions between them had led to a situation in which the only solution was for one to leave.

Saturday's win over Berlin saved Solbakken's job but Finke was relieved of his duties.

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