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Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 12:04 UK

Michael Ballack wanted by Leverkusen after Chelsea axe

Michael Ballack
Ballack played in 32 of Chelsea's 38 Premier League games last season

Bayer Leverkusen have pleaded with Michael Ballack to put sentiment ahead of money and rejoin them eight years after leaving for Bayern Munich.

Ballack has been linked with several Bundesliga clubs since being told his Chelsea contract would not be renewed.

But Leverkusen hope he will rejoin the club he helped to the Champions League final in 2002.

"We will do all we can, but if he comes he will have to make sacrifices," the club's general manager said.

Ballack spent three years at Leverkusen after joining from Kaiserslautern and helped the club to the runner's-up spot in the Champions League, Bundesliga and domestic cup in his final season.

Super Frankie Lampard

And general manager Wolfgang Holzhauser is hopeful that the 33-year-old will choose to rejoin them rather than take more lucrative offers.

"We know that he has two definite offers and we are now ready to start negotiations," he told the Express newspaper.

"We are in close contact with him and his agent [but] we cannot compete with what the others are offering."

Ballack was set to captain Germany at the World Cup but was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury suffered in May's FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth.

He had hoped to earn a contract renewal at Chelsea, but was one of three high-profile players told last week that he would not be getting a new deal, along with Joe Cole and Juliano Belletti.

Ballack, who joined Chelsea from Munich in 2006, made 167 appearances for the club, scoring 27 times and last season helping them to a first title since 2006.

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see also
Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea
09 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Germany career not over - Ballack
19 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Injured Ballack out of World Cup
17 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ballack agrees new Chelsea deal
31 May 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea announce Ballack capture
15 May 06 |  Chelsea

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Liverpool Echo Robert Pires reveals Leicester City interest - 19 hrs ago KUSEN REAFFIRM BALLACK INTEREST - 40 hrs ago
The World Game Bayer desperate for Ballack return - 42 hrs ago Leverkusen reaffirm Ballack desire - 44 hrs ago Leverkusen reaffirm interest in signing midfielder Ballack - 44 hrs ago


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