By Chris Wright
Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed that they are interested in re-signing Michael Ballack after the German midfielder was released by Chelsea earlier in the week.
Although the Bundesliga club are keen to bring Ballack back to the BayArena, the club’s sporting director Rudi Voller has admitted that his side will have to remain pragmatic about their chances;
“I don’t want to make it a secret – when a player like Michael Ballack with his history with us, is on the market, then we think about him. Michael had a great time here and we have remained in contact over the years.
We are relaxed about it all, but Michael Ballack is an issue we are dealing with, particularly since he would like to return to Germany.”
Ballack’s significant wage demands may price him out of a return to play in his homeland as, realistically, only league champions Bayern Munich could afford the £90,000-a-week-plus salary he was said to be receiving at Chelsea.
However, Voller hopes that a compromise is within reach;
“Normally a player like Michael is out of reach for us. A transfer would only be possible if the player accepted a pay cut.”
Ballack played for Leverkusen for four years between 1998 and 2002, helping them reach the Champions League final during the final year of his tenure – eventually losing out 2-1 to Real Madrid (and this piece of Zizou magic).
Any excuse! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL indeed.