Bayer wary of Ze Roberto interest

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

BAYER LEVERKUSEN are bracing themselves for a battle to hang onto Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto, with rivals Bayern Munich leading the chase for the player's signature.

Bayern chief Ottmar Hitzfeld confirmed the European Champions were interested in the Samba wide-man who believes he is "having the best season of his career".

Speculation is rife in German media circles that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern vice-president, has met with the player's agent, Juan Figer, to discuss Ze Roberto's situation at the BayArena.

Leverkusen general manager Reiner Calmund is aware that their arch rivals are monitoring the 27-year-old, in particular 'the Kaiser' Franz Beckenbauer.

"Ze Roberto has always been a favourite player for Franz Beckenbauer. I have known that for a long time," Calmund told 'Sport Bild'.

Deportivo La Coruna and Roma are also thought to be keeping an eye on developments, although Bayer have not given up hope of persuading the Brazilian international to pen a new deal.

With Michael Ballack leaving for Bayern in the summer and Lucio being tipped for a move to Italian shores, Bayer face a mass post season exodus and their followers will not want to see Ze Roberto follow Ballack to Southern Germany.