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The numbers behind Arsenal's striker search

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Ballack set for Madrid talks

Germany captain Michael Ballack has scheduled a meeting with Real Madrid to discuss a potential move to the Spanish giants.

The Bayern Munich playmaker has long been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga and Real now look like strong favourites for his signature after Manchester United decided against trying to sign him.

Ballack's agent, Michael Becker, will meet Madrid's director of sport Emilio Butragueno some time this month to discuss the 29-year-old's future.

Bayern look almost certain to lose their star player on a free transfer next summer after he rejected their latest contract offer, and Juventus are also believed to be monitoring his progress closely.

'We have always said we would like to listen to other offers,' said Becker.

Although it now seems almost inevitable that Ballack will leave Munich in the summer, the club still hold out some hope that a compromise can be reached.

'We are waiting for Mr Becker to come to us, that is our agreement,' said Bayern's general manager Uli Hoeness.