Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim have become embroiled in a public spat over former Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese.
Wiese, 30, left Bremen after seven years to move to Hoffenheim on a free transfer, but the 'keeper, capped six times by Germany, has suffered a nightmare spell at his new club.
The Hoffenheim captain has conceded 15 goals in only four matches, including a 4-0 hammering by fourth-tier team Berliner AK in the DFB Pokal.
On Thursday, Bremen director of football Klaus Allofs told Bild: "We wanted another style of goalkeeping - a 'keeper who joins the game." He denied reports that Wiese had left because Bremen were not willing to pay the keeper a higher salary.
"I am not trying to settle a score with Wiese," Allofs said. "But having Sebastian Mielitz in goal for Wiese is definitely not a step back for us."
Hoffenheim director of football Andreas Muller hit back at the remarks, saying: "How long did Wiese play in Bremen? And it attracts Allof's attention now? We protect our players and, if someone leaves us, we will not throw dirt at him. That's not correct."
Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel added: "That's an unnecessary comment from Allofs. I can't back his opinion. I am surprised, as Tim's successor is not better in footballing terms. Our players are even surprised by how good Tim is in footballing terms."
After Freiburg put five past him on Sunday, Hoffenheim announced that he would miss the next two matches because of a muscle problem.