Ngankam Affirms Love for Hertha: Rejects Union Transfer
Berlin - Out of love for Hertha BSC, Jessic Ngankam is foregoing potential appearances in the Champions League, as the price would have been a transfer to local rivals 1. FC Union Berlin.
"I was quiet for about three to four minutes, just staring at the ceiling, thinking this couldn't be true, and I let it sink in. After five minutes, I managed to respond, and I actually said, 'No, let's not do it'," said the U21 national football player in a YouTube video released over the weekend by former Hertha player Bilal Kamarieh.
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Ngankam revealed that his agent, Volker Struth, informed him of Union's concrete interest. The 22-year-old's decision might have been different if it had come from another top club. "I still needed those three minutes. Because I had to keep pushing and putting in the effort, doing things that I didn't really feel like doing. And then there's this call that there's a team playing in the Champions League that really wants you. But still, it won't happen because I'm a Hertha player," Ngankam said.
The striker, who has worn the Hertha jersey for 17 years, except for a loan year at SpVgg Greuther Fürth, is expected to be a symbolic figure of the club's fresh start in the second division. However, it is still unclear whether Ngankam will actually remain at his hometown club. Eintracht Frankfurt, set to compete internationally in the Conference League next season, is also said to be interested in signing him. Hertha, facing precarious financial conditions, requires transfer revenue. Ngankam's market value is estimated at around five million euros.