Augsburg's Martin Hinteregger: RB Leipzig are 'destroying' FC Salzburg
Martin Hinteregger rejected RB Leipzig to join Augsburg from FC Salzburg as "a matter of respect," and claims the Bundesliga side are "destroying" their Austrian counterparts.
Hinteregger, 23, would have been the ninth player in only three transfer windows to join Leipzig from Salzburg, with both clubs owned by Austrian soft drink giants Red Bull.
The most notable transfer during that time was Naby Keita, who turned down offers from the Premier League, including Arsenal, to take his next steps at the Bundesliga club.
Already this week, midfielder Bernardo was transferred between the clubs. The move prompted an angry reaction from Salzburg coach Oscar Garcia, who bemoaned that his side have become a feeder team to Leipzig.
Speaking to reporters while with the Austria national team on Thursday, Hinteregger slammed Leipzig's transfer policy and accused the club of destroying Salzburg.
"Leipzig was not an option for me out of respect for Salzburg's fans," the defender said. "These days everyone's moved there, but I am surely not part of it. It was a matter of respect to turn Leipzig down although I might have been better off financially. I am happy that I did not go into Bundesliga via Leipzig."
Coming through the ranks of the club's youth academy, Hinteregger said that it's difficult for him to digest the changes at the club.
"It's not nice to see the manner in which Leipzig destroys Salzburg. I think it's a shame because in the end we are talking about two different clubs, but Leipzig make the rules and turn their back on Salzburg," Hinteregger said, before hitting out at RB's sporting director Ralf Rangnick, who also had a spell in charge of the Austrians.
Hinteregger added: "He did a good job at Salzburg, but now he allows everything to go south again. It should have never come to Leipzig being allowed to take everything they want. But sadly it's now official."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.