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Disappointed Ballack linked to Real

Michael Ballack admitted that he was disappointed to be left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad, while reports from Britain have linked him to Real Madrid.

sports Updated: Sep 10, 2007 12:31 IST

Injured German captain Michael Ballack admitted on Sunday he was disappointed to be left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad, while reports from Britain have linked him to Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old Chelsea midfielder was unhappy after being left out when Chelsea's 23-man squad was named last week, but there is speculation in the British press he has been offered a deal to join the Spanish giants.

Ballack is still recovering from the ankle operation he had last April and the injury kept him out of Germany's 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifier win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

"Of course, I am disappointed to be left out, it is clear the decision was based on how long the doctors think I will be out for," Ballack told the German Football Federation's website.

"But I want to be back playing as quickly as possible. I need time to recover from the ankle injury. I have had two ankle operations and I still get a bit of pain, but I can't train or play at the moment," he said.

This is the first time Ballack has expressed his disappointment at Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho leaving him out of his squad for the Champions League group stage games.

"I don't really understand why Chelsea took this decision which has led to speculation," said Ballack.

According to British Sunday tabloid paper The People, Ballack was omitted from Chelsea's Champions League squad because he has agreed a switch to Real Madrid.

The 77-times capped Germany international was officially left out because of his injury, but the Sunday tabloid reports Ballack has agreed a 135,000-pound a-week (200,000-euro) deal with Real.

The 30-year-old was linked with a move to Real just before the transfer window closed at the end of August, with German Bernd Schuster confirming that a deal had been close.

However, the Guardian newspaper reports Jose Mourinho will offer Ballack a final chance to resurrect his Chelsea career if the midfielder responds well to being left out of the club's Euro squad.

The Blues boss wants Ballack to accelerate his recovery from an ankle injury and is hoping he will push himself to prove the boss wrong.