Calmund: Only Ballack is leaving
By Philip Seery. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
REINER CALMUND, the Bayer general manager, has allayed fans' fears that Brazilian duo Lucio and Ze Roberto will be sold at the end of the campaign.
With star midfielder Michael Ballack, top-scorer in Die Bundesliga, heading to arch rivals Bayern Munich in the summer Bayer followers feared a mass exodus.
However, Calmund insisted no-one else would be leaving the BayArena and indicated that the priority would be to strenghten the squad and not weaken it.
"Besides Ballack who is going, we have control over who goes and who stays. We will only release a player if we have a reasonable alternative," explained Calmund.
"Lots of clubs are interested in Lucio (pictured) but he is still young and perhaps wants to play another year or two in Leverkusen.
Calmund has labelled the Samba ace "priceless" and knows the fans would be angered should he leave for Italy or elsewhere.
"What use is it if we sell Lucio for 70 Million DM (£21.8 million)? The fans would throw stones at us if we didn't win without him." revealed the Leverkusen supremo.
The squad of Die Bundesliga leaders needs expanding according to Calmund who believes their main rivals have more quality at their disposal.
"We have 15 first-rate players. Borussia Dortmund have 20 and Bayern Munich 25."
Miroslav Klose, Torsten Frings, Jan Simak, Daniel Bierofka and Christoph Preuss have all been linked with Bayer in recent weeks and coach Klaus Toppmoller confirmed enquiries had been made.
"We have spoken with Torsten Frings and Jan Simak," said Toppi.