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11.17.2005

Ballack rejects greed accusations

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Michael Ballack has rejected opinions that claim economic pretensions behind his refusal to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich. The german midfielder will be a free agent at the end of the season and can expect a large signing-on fee if he decides to leave Bayern.

"It's absolutely shameless to say that. The accusation is baseless," Ballack assured. "I only try to leave all my options open."

On Wednesday, Bayern withdrew their offer of a new contract, although they are prepared to talk with Ballack again if he decides to stay.

The midfielder has admitted he wants to speak with other interested clubs, said to include Manchester United and Real Madrid, before signing a new deal.

"I like the city of Munich and Bayern are great but there are one or two other clubs that can compete with them and it would be a great challenge to play abroad," Ballack said.

"It's been a long time since an outfield player from Germany played at a top European club."