Bayern admit Roman's millions may tempt Ballack to Chelsea

MUNICH: Bayern Munich fear they may lose playmaker Michael Ballack (pic) to Premiership leaders Chelsea admitting the millions of Russian owner Roman Abramovich are making it difficult to compete. 

German international captain Ballack, 28, is contracted at the Olympic Stadium until 2006 and Bayern are struggling to put together a financial package to prevent the midfield star from jumping ship.  

“It goes without saying that we want to keep Michael in Munich and will hold talks with him,” Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness told television channel Premiere. 

“I can imagine that his current contract can be improved but Mr Abramovich seems to be printing money at home and there is nothing you can do to combat that.”  

Oil magnate Abramovich has spent millions to lift Chelsea to the Premiership summit and would not refrain from reaching for the cheque book again to capture one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe. 

In 50 appearances for Germany, Ballack has scored an impressive 22 goals. 

He almost joined Spanish giants Barcelona for 12 million euros after Euro 2004 when Bayern admitted they were prepared to let him go for the right price. 

“My contract expires in a year and a half so we will see what happens,” declared Ballack. “Moving abroad does appeal to me as I can discover something new.” – AFP 

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