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Transfer Rater: Ross Barkley to Man United

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John Brooks switches agents

U.S. international John Brooks has reportedly switched agents, as rumours of a possible departure from Hertha Berlin gather speed.

The 21-year old centre-back sealed United States' only victory at the World Cup with a late header against Ghana. Brooks is currently on holiday, and is set to resume training with his hometown club Hertha BSC on July 25.

The Berlin native, however, will have to fight for his place in Hertha's defence. The capital club have reinforced their team with former Netherlands international John Heitinga, 30, who is set to play a major role in coach Jos Luhukay's plans.

Brooks will be competing for the second place with two other players, the 26-year-old captain Fabian Lustenberger and Sebastian Langkamp.

According to German tabloid Bild, John Brooks has switched his agents during the summer break. He had been represented by Maikel Stevens, but has now linked up with high-profile agent Volker Struth, who has the Germany internationals Mario Gotze, Marco Reus and Toni Kroos among his clients.

But speaking to Bild, Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz played down rumours that the agent switch is a sign of an impending transfer.

"John has informed us about switching agents. But nothing changes for us," Preetz said. "We will go into the new season with four centre-backs. He is part of our plans, and we bank on him."

Brooks had been a mainstay for Hertha's promotion winning team in 2012-2013, but an injury-cursed season and problems of the pitch limited the U.S. international to 16 appearances in his debut season in Bundesliga.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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