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Old 15-11-2005, 20:01   #57
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Magath hopeful over Ballack

Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath remains confident Michael Ballack with stay at the club.

Ballack's future at Bayern has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months, with the player's current deal due to expire at the end of the season.

Speculation intensified that Ballack would leave the German champions on Monday when Bayern withdrew their contract offer to the midfielder.

Ballack's agent has admitted a number of foreign sides have expressed an interest in the goalscoring midfielder, who can open talks with interested suitors in January.

Manchester United, Real Madrid, Milan and Internazionale are all thought to be keen on Ballack, but Magath is hopeful that the German international will remain at Bayern.

"I believe he's going to stay with us anyway," Magath said.

Bayern's sporting director Uli Hoeness also believes Ballack could well stay at the club.

"For me, the final word hasn't been spoken yet," Hoeness told German radio.

"I can well imagine Michael will stay with Bayern. But one thing is clear. From now on, the talks will be led by us and not him."
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