BALLACK STILL ON REAL LIST
By Luis Murillo & Jose Francisco Patania
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Spanish giants have never officially confirmed an interest in Ballack, but reports in both Germany and Madrid appear to indicate that Real are tracking the player.
Ballack's contract ends in 2002, however, the directors of Bayer have insisted they will not keep any unhappy players at the club and could be prepared to negotiate with Real.
Another option open to Real is that Ballack is reported to have a £10 million buy out clause in his contract at the end of this season.
The Merengues are also believed to be interested in playmakers such as Juan Sebastian Veron and Rui Costa.
However, Bayer coach Berti Vogts comments on Ballack's play recently, saying: "Ballack should ask himself how he's playing at the moment," caused tension in the team's ranks.
Manager Reiner Calmund responded by defending Ballack, saying: "I don't like a special player to be criticised. After such a game you could do the same with eight or nine players.
"We need such top players as Ballack, Lucio, (Jens) Nowotny and (Ulf) Kirsten."