Michael Ballack has been told by Bayer Leverkusen that he is free to leave the club before his contract expires in the summer, opening the door for a possible shock move back to West London, talkSPORT have reported.
The German midfielder has failed to set the Bundesliga alight since he returned to his former club in the summer of 2010. After being told by Chelsea that his contract would not be renewed Ballack rejoined the club where he made his career breakthrough. At the time much was expected of the retired German International but he has since failed to recapture the inspirational form he was once known for.
Leverkusen’s CEO, Wolfgang Holzhauser, was interviewed by German tabloid Focus and revealed that Ballack is free to leave if he wishes to do so.
“Project Ballack has failed,” said Holzhauser.
“His contract runs until 30th June, but if he wants to get out early, he can certainly talk to us.”
The former-Chelsea star was a reported target of Premier League strugglers QPR in the January transfer window but a move failed to materialise. News of the possibility of Ballack becoming available may spark renewed interest from Mark Hughes who has a serious fight on his hands to keep his new Rangers side in the top flight.
Ballack may not be as mobile or as influential as he once was but Hughes may look to the 35-year-old to provide some invaluable experience to the situation the West London club find themselves in.
If Hughes chooses to reignite his interest in the German veteran he is likely to face competition from a number of Major League Soccer teams. Ballack refused to rule out an eventual move to the United States and was quoted as saying that he could team up with Thierry Henry at the New York Red Bulls.
“It is too early to talk about a change in the MLS. But yes, there is a possibility that I go to the New York Red Bulls,” said Ballack, in CaughtOffside’s report.
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