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Bayern getting ready for life without Ballack

Ballack is very likely to leave Munich and the club must start looking for a replacement, coach Magath was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 16:54 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Michael Ballack is very likely to leave Bayern Munich and the club must start looking for a replacement, coach Felix Magath was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"When Michael leaves, we will lose a personality capable of taking responsibility," Magath told Munich daily TZ.

"We need to look for such a leading figure outside the club," the Bayern coach added.

Several top European clubs have targeted the gifted midfielder, whose agent said last week he was very interested in a move to Chelsea.

Ballack, the Germany captain, has denied reports he had already signed a four-year deal with the English champions but has made clear that he was looking forward to a new challenge.

"This is a great opportunity to take a new orientation," Magath said of Ballack's likely departure.

"We do depend a lot on him but that does not mean we will have problems once he's gone."

The 29-year-old Ballack joined Bayern from Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. He is widely regarded as the only genuine world-class player Germany has to offer.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 16:54 IST