Wolfsburg and former England coach Steve McClaren said today he was looking to the future after the loss of star striker Edin Dzeko to Manchester City in a record transfer deal.
"The players have now got nowhere to hide," said the under-pressure McClaren, 49. "They can't hide behind Edin, they can't hide behind anything else," he told mass circulation daily Bild. "There's been so much talked about this, it's driven us all mad. I have already spoken to some of the players who now want to take more responsibility."
Wolfsburg's team manager Dieter Hoeness also seemed relieved that the long saga was over. "I've been in Wolfsburg for a year and everything has been overshadowed by the question of Dzeko."
The 24-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina striker, believed to have cost City £27m (€32.4m), signed a four-and-a-half year contract on Friday and has been handed the No10 shirt at the title-chasing club. Dzeko, City boss Roberto Mancini's ninth signing since the former Inter Milan coach took charge just over a year ago, was the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season, finding the back of the net 22 times.
The season before, Dzeko hit 26 goals and formed a deadly partnership with Brazilian strike partner Grafite with the pair scoring 54 goals between them as Wolfsburg clinched the German title. Other top-rank European clubs were also linked with the striker, including Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus.
This season has so far been a struggle for Wolfsburg, who are languishing at 13th in the table, having gone seven Bundesliga games without a win, leaving McClaren fighting for survival.