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Discussion in 'Germany: Clubs' started by BVB1989, Aug 15, 2008.
Old news, Magoo.
No biggie. Welcome to the Leverkusen thread, by the way. Good to have another fan here!
Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed their interest in signing Michael Ballack after he was released by Chelsea earlier this week.
Ballack played for Leverkusen between 1999 and 2002 and was part of the side which reached the Champions League final in 2002, where they were beaten by Real Madrid.
However, although the Bundesliga club would be interested in bringing Ballack back, they are also realistic about their chances of pulling off what would be a major transfer coup.
'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,' said Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voller.
Sitting this one out: Germany skipper Ballack is missing the World Cup with an ankle injury
'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 wages could be the stumbling block to a return to the Bundesliga since only his former employers Bayern Munich can realistically afford the salary he was on at Chelsea. But Leverkusen hope Ballack would be willing to compromise.
'Normally a player like Michael is out of reach for us,' admitted Voller. 'A transfer would only be possible if the player accepted a pay cut.'
If you can ignore the emotional ties that Bayer has with Ballack, I'd rather they spend the kind of money he will require on players that are not near the end of their career, even if he could still contribute at a high level.
I wouldn't mind having Ballack back, but I'd rather not break the bank on him.
I don't think you guys would have to "break the bank" for him.
The one thing people seem to be ignoring when it comes to Ballack is what HE actually thinks.
I don't think anyone will know that until he returns from his vacation in Miami.
One thing I know about this kid from his past is that he has good sense.
If he decides to come back to Germany, he knows he'll be taking one hell of a pay cut.
Forget all the press speculation about salary, realize that Michael Ballack is no fool and get that he knows this.
And if he decides to come back, I think Leverkusen has as good of a shot as anyone at getting him.
Maybe an even better one.
Bayern doesn't want him and I don't believe he's ever gotten over how he was treated in his first season there.
Schalke would be attractive, but there are also problems brewing between Magath and the leadership there, prompting speculation that Magath may jump ship.
In this article, "Bild" is already speculating that Schalke is "out of the running" for Ballack because of the problems between Magath and the club leadership.
Initial German speculation had Bremen being interested in Ballack and I thought they were too.
However, I was then reminded that Torsten Frings is "The Man" in Bremen and he and Ballack reportedly didn't get along well in their season at Bayern or on the national team.
More speculation, but there was evidence which pointed to that being true.
More recent "Bild" speculation, linked here, has HSV being very interested in Ballack.
However, I think the fact that HSV is out of Europe would have to put a damper on Ballack's choosing to go there.
But then again, HSV can offer him more money than anyone except Bayern and Ballack also knows that a former idol of his, Franz Beckenbauer, also finished his career at HSV.
If Ballack wants to continue to get paid close to what he was getting at Chelsea, he'll stay in England and sign with Arsenal, Tottenham, Man U. or Aston Villa.
That "Bild" article also picked up on this "Daily Mail" speculation that Man U. has already offered Ballack a one-year deal.
However, I don't know that Ballack would move his family from London to Manchester if he can get a two or three year deal with one of the London clubs.
I think if Ballack decides to come back to Germany, it would really be between you guys and HSV with HSV having the money edge and you guys having the edge in familiarity and actually being in European competition for next season.
Should he decide to come home and the decision isn't based on money, I think you guys would be the most attractive German club to Ballack. You guys have built a very young nucleus and he would be the perfect guy to lead them.
Again, Ballack is familiar with many in club management, the area and knows he would be throughly appreciated in Leverkusen.
He would also be the perfect role model for a young player like Lars Bender, who truly has the potential to be the "next Michael Ballack."
(So does Lars' brother Sven! )
If you get Ballack, I think you guys would have to be the front-runners, along with Bayern, for next season's Bundesliga title.
If Ballack comes back to Germany, I'd like to see him back with you guys instead of at Schalke or Bayern.
And yes, this is because I know my club doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell at getting him! LOL!!
All that Ballack talk and speculation made me forget the reason I first stopped here.
What kind of offer do you think it would take for Leverkusen management to let Patrick Helmes go??
First off, thanks for the thoughts on Ballack. As you pointed out, it will come down to what he wants. Also, vacationing in Miami?!
Not quite sure. Helmes just had a rough season but he's still an excellent goal scorer. We will certainly need more than just Kiessling and Derdiyok this season due to the increased number of matches we'll be playing, so selling a proven Bundesliga striker like Helmes would make me a bit apprehensive. Then again, we have youth -- like Sukuta-Pasu -- who could potentially fill any void left by Helmes but it remains to be seen what the club's intentions are with S.P. for this season. If I knew exactly what they were thinking with him, I might be able to put more of a ballpark figure on Helmes.
As it stands now, I'd rather the club not even consider selling him.
That was the word we got. Was he at the match last night?
I missed most of it. I was taking on the water-logged autobahns trying to get home for the match.
I get that. But do you think it would not be an issue if another team in Europe like Dortmund were to offer him a starting spot?
The issue here is a hypothetical Dortmund sale of Lucas Barrios and who they would get to replace him.
I brought up Helmes' name and wondered how much it would take to pry him loose from Bayer.
This is a major reason I thought of Helmes. Not just because of Sukuta-Pasu, but you guys have Sidney Sam now too.
I was thinking this might make Bayer a bit more open to a Helmes sale than before last season.
But they are just thoughts and hypothetical speaking.
Don't blame you for that one bit.
Barnetta and Derdiyok are playing against Spain right now.
They both played very well!
I thought Barnetta was a bit subdued but he had his work cut out for himself against Spain's packed midfield. Worked hard all match. Derdiyok really impressed me. He really came into his own last season and seems to be building on that already. Quality player. Like footy said, with him I think Leverkusen might consider offers for Helmes.
It would've been awesome if he managed to score. Stupid post.
That would have been a great goal. He has good striker's instincts and is very comfortable taking players on. Very impressed.
I was surprised he almost scored with his foot. With Derdiyok, I'd expect a headed goal if anything.
Really? I think he is quite good on the ball. Held it up very well today too.
I don't get how a Ballack move to Leverkusen makes a lot of sense. So you can put Rolfes or Vidal on the bench? And hinder the development of Bender? I think Ballack is past it and his "leadership" doesn't make up for it. The angle would be ticket sales I suppose.
I expect and hope he stays somewhere in London for next season.
For the Bundesliga level Ballack is not out of it. Look how a player like Hypia performed last season. Ballack is still incredibly fit. Bender is still young and so is Vidal with the later being really versatile. Ballack would offer more than just leadership, he would be the perfect player to learn from for a player like Bender.
Almost exactly what I said about Ballack and Bender.
I believe Ballack joining Leverkusen would help quicken Bender's development, not hinder it.
Arguably, more is learned on the practice field than in actual match play.
I actually think a Ballack acquisition would impact Rolfes or Augusto more than Lars Bender.
Maybe some here think rushing Lars along will hasten his having the impact on Bayer that his brother Sven has already had in Dortmund???
Every "Derdiyok goal" that I think of is him scoring with his head. For examples, think of his goals against Stuttgart and Hamburg at the BayArena, etc. Those goals were from so far out but he still managed to place them perfectly. For another example, check the highlights of our loss to Dortmund this past season at the Westfalenstadion. During the first half (which I'm still trying to figure out how we managed to end without at least two goals), Derdiyok had a great header that was bound for the back of the net if it weren't for Weidenfeller's heroics.
I'm not disagreeing with you that he's good on the ball, but when I think of him as a striker, I think of a player good with his head. Maybe that's just me though.
It's definitely just you.
That kid is a very good overall player. He's got all the tools.