Leverkusen target former star Michael Ballack

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Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler has revealed that they are interested in signing veteran midfielder Michael Ballack.

Michael Ballack during his Bayer Leverkusen days
The Germany international, who will miss the World Cup after damaging ankle ligaments in the FA Cup final, will be a free agent when his Chelsea contract expires at the end of the month.

Ballack played for Leverkusen between 1999 and 2002, finishing second in the league twice with the western Germans and also reaching the Champions League and German cup final in 2002.

"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," Völler told the Express newspaper.

"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."

However, although Völler is interested in bringing the 33-year-old back, he believes Ballack's wages could be the stumbling block to a return to the Bundesliga.

Völler added: "Normally a player like Michael is out of reach for us.

"A transfer would only be possible if the player accepted a pay cut."

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