Van Bommel to replace Ballack at Bayern

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Netherlands international Mark van Bommel will replace Michael Ballack at Bayern Munich.

Munich:

Netherlands international Mark van Bommel will replace Michael Ballack at Bayern Munich. A three-year contract has been agreed with Barcelona and the player, Bayern said on Saturday. As a central midfielder, the 29-year-old van Bommel is expected to fill the hole left by longtime Bayern star Ballack, who signed with Chelsea in May. Despite the signing of van Bommel, who has played 40 games for the Netherlands, Bayern said Owen Hargreaves will not be allowed to leave the club and play for Manchester United. "We have a solid agreement with Barcelona and the player (van Bommel)," Bayern manager Uli Hoeness said. "But Owen stays - you can bet your house on that. (Manchester United coach) Sir Alex (Ferguson) has to plan without Hargreaves." The England player's pleas to leave for Manchester United have been rejected several times by Bayern, which has publicly reprimanded Hargreaves for pushing the issue. Van Bommel is expected to take a medical examination and sign a contract this week, Bayern said. He has been a reserve at Barcelona under Frank Rijkaard and is eligible to play for Bayern in this season's Champions League. Bayern coach Felix Magath, whose side has looked shaky without Ballack, pushed for the signing of van Bommel. Bayern played 0-0 against FC Nuremberg on Saturday. Last week, Barcelona humbled Bayern 4-0 in a friendly. (AP)

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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