Germany's Klose facing uncertain future

AFP, Tuesday 7 Jun 2011

With his 33rd birthday approaching on Thursday, Germany striker Miroslav Klose faces an uncertain future a year away from Euro 2012 to be co-hosted by his native Poland

Klose

Klose announced on Monday he is leaving Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich after four years in Bavaria, having spent much of last season on the bench and started only nine league games.

With his contract set to expire at the end of June, Klose rejected Bayern's offer of a one-year-extension with an option of a further year.

He wanted a two-year deal and will now definitely leave Bayern, where he has played second fiddle to Germany team-mate Mario Gomez, whose haul of 28 goals in 32 league games speaks for itself.

Interest in Klose has already come from Spain, Italy and England with German daily Bild reporting Klose is bound for Valencia, but with a world-wide reputation he is sure to find a new club quickly.

Italian sides Lazio and AC Milan have reportedly shown interest, as well as Premier League sides Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

A year out from the 8 June kick-off of Euro 2012 in Poland—where he was born—Klose boasts 61 goals in 109 appearances for Germany and is closing in on Gerd Mueller's all-time record of 68 goals.

Germany are on the verge of booking their place in the finals although Klose, currently sidelined due to injury, will play no part in Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku.

While he was at home nursing bruised ribs, his main rival Gomez scored both of the goals which earned Germany a 2-1 win over Austria in Vienna last Friday.

As Klose decides on where his club destination lies, he was reminded that when it comes to national team selection playing regularly is crucial.

"It is important that our national players get match practice at their clubs," Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff made clear recently.

National coach Joachim Loew has meanwhile appeared to have given Klose a boost, claiming the Polish-born striker remains his preferred choice despite spending last season on Bayern's bench.

Loew told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper the 32-year-old had the upper hand on Gomez when it came to international football: "'Miro' is still a little superior to Mario with regard to his ability to change his style of play during a match and his all-round ability."

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