It is being reported today that the out-of-contract Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack is to be given a Premier League lifeline by the Man Utd manager Alex Ferguson.
The Sunday Mirror says that United are to offer Ballack a one-year contract with an option of another year. The Germany captain has been linked with a return to his old club Bayer Leverkusen, but Man Utd are one of the few teams that could afford to pay Ballack the wages to which he has become accustomed. Leverkusen director of sport Rudi Voller admitted that they would like Ballack to return, but he also said they couldn’t afford his wages!
“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 Voller.
“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.”
“Normally a player like Michael is out of reach for us,” he continued. “A transfer would only be possible if the player accepted a pay cut.”
Ballack wanted to return for one more year at Stamford Bridge, but Roman Abramovich seems committed to reducing the average age of the team and personally decided to let Ballack leave, along with Joe Cole and Deco. Wouldn’t it be ironic if both Ballack and Cole ended up at Old Trafford and helped Man Utd win the title back from Chelsea?
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