brd-fussballWith the World Cup less than two weeks away, Germany were hit with another major injury concern, losing defensive all-arounder Heiko Westermann for the tournament. German boss Joachim Löw must now make the final cut of his roster – a tough decision to be made. Meanwhile Löw has backup keeper Tim Wiese questioning why he wasn’t personally told of his status as Germany’s number two.

German National Team
Germany’s hopes for their fourth World Cup title took yet another hit as Schalke defender Heiko Westermann was ruled out of South Africa 2010 with a fractured left foot. The defensive all-arounder who can serve as a central back, left back and even defensive midfielder suffered the injury during Germany’s 3-0 victory over Hungary in a friendly on Sunday.
Westermann, 27, is the latest injury blow for German boss Joachim Löw, who has already lost captain Michael Ballack, top keeper Rene Adler and midfielders Christian Träsch and Simon Rolfes.
“Heiko would have played an important role in our team at the World Cup. He would have been important for us in view of his versatility,” Löw said.
“Of course I am completely disappointed because being part of a World Cup was a big goal for me. All I can do now is wish the team the best of luck,” said a disappointed Westermann.

Tuesday is D-Day
Löw has a decision to make by noon on Tuesday when he needs to name is final 23-man roster for South Africa. There is the option that the coach nominates Dortmund’s Mats Hummels as a replacement for the versatile defensive role Westermann had. But that would likely mean not taking six strikers to South Africa, which Löw had planned on doing so.
With the injuries to Träsch and Westermann, Löw’s roster is currently at 24 meaning he has to make one final cut. And the player most likely to get the unfortunate bump from the roster has been rumored to be right back Andreas Beck of Hoffenheim. With Marcell Jansen playing well against Hungary and Jerome Boateng going 90 minutes. It appears that Beck will get the boot. Other options would be Dennis Aogo or Stefan Kiessling.

Wiese: Löw never told me why I’m backup keeper
As if the German national team camp didn’t have enough turmoil with all the injury concerns and questions, now Werder Bremen keeper Tim Wiese is asking in the German press why Coach Löw and goalkeeper coach Andreas Köpke have still not talked to him about becoming the top backup to number one keeper Manuel Neuer.
“I have not heard of a reason why I am the number two – only the explanation in the press conference,” Wiese told the mass tabloid Bild. The Bremen keeper said he received a personal reasoning as to the decision by Löw and Köpke.
At the press conference announcing Neuer as the number one between the posts, Köpke said Neuer advanced far in the German Cup (semifinals), finished second in the Bundesliga and played a good season.
The 28-year-old Wiese, who helped Bremen to the 2009 UEFA Cup final, won the 2009 German Cup title and lost in the 2010 German Cup final while finishing third in the Bundesliga this season,  had a hard time understanding that. “I was in the cup final. In the last 12 months I had three finals and won one of them.”

Bundesliga Transfer News
Dzeko appears set in Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg fans appear able to breathe a sigh of relief after the 2009 Bundesliga champions apparently have not received a set 40 million euro transfer fee for Bosnian star striker Edin Dzeko. Manchester City was rumored to be the closest to bringing in the 24-year-old before a deadline of midnight May 31. But there have been no rumblings from Wolfsburg that another club stepped up to the plate for Dzeko.
The striker can still be bought out of his 2013 deal with Wolfsburg but the club can demand more than the 40 million euro set in his contract – a fact that leave many figuring he will stay in the Bundesliga.
A 40 million euro move would have been the most expensive transfer from a Bundesliga club, topping the nearly 30 million Bayern Munich paid Stuttgart last summer for Mario Gomez.

Schalke looking for offense, Eder and Diego rumored
With their qualification for the Champions League for next season, German runners-up Schalke are looking for some offensive reinforcements. And Felix Magath has reportedly been looking towards Italy for some South American flair to add to his attack.
After the departure of Kevin Kuranyi for Dynamo Moscow, Gazzetta dello Sport said Schalke are in the race for the 23-year-old Brazilian striker Eder, who scored a second division-best 26 goals last season for FC Empoli. The Italian Serie B just ended on Sunday. Among the other clubs reportedly interested in Eder are various Serie A sides as well as Russians Zenit St. Petersburg, which is run by Italian Luciano Spalletti.
The La Stampa paper meanwhile said Schalke are also interested in Brazilian midfield maestro Diego, who left Werder Bremen before last season for Juventus Turin and has also been rumored to draw interest from Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg.
“A year ago I decided for Juve and will not change my mind because of one bad season. Regardless of game style, I would like to stay with new coach Luigi Del Neri and prove myself again,” Diego said recently in Gazzetta dello Sport.
But he also added: “But the club also has to think like me. Because a Diego who does not play is not a good investment for any side. It has to clear whether I am part of the new project. Should it not be the case, a good solution for both sides will be found.”
Poland’s Ireneusz Jelen from AJ Auxerre has also been linked to Schalke.

Asamoah leaves Schalke for St Pauli
Schalke were also in the news for a player they lost as former German international Gerald Asamoah agreed to a two-year deal with promoted side St. Pauli. The 31-year-old Asamoah earned 43 caps for Germany and scored 44 goals in 279 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke.

Hannover extend with Pinto for three years, Miller on way?
Hannover extended their contract with 29-year-old German-Portuguese midfielder Sergio Pinto for three years until 2013. Pinto, who came to Hannover from Aachen in 2007, has played 58 Bundesliga matches and helped Hannover stave off relegation this past season.
The Reds also appear close to signing a new keeper with Markus Miller close to signing a deal until 2012 after leaving Karlsruhe.

Werder Bremen linked with Arnautovic
Werder Bremen have been linked to Austrian international striker Marko Arnautovic, who is currently on loan at Inter Milan from Twente Enschede. The 21-year-old has a contract with Enschede until 2012 and has a set transfer fee of 10 million euro, making it a tough choice for Werder.
Werder manager Klaus Allofs is certainly interested in Arnautovic, telling Bild: “Clearly he’s someone interesting to us. He is a good player, and good players always fit in with Werder … He is a good player but there are financial factors at play as well. We have our own ideas. We will see in what direction we go and if we continue this or not.”
Austrian juniors coach Andreas Herzog said Arnautovic would be well served to transfer to the Bundesliga. And he could also develop quite well at Werder, where Herzog starred for years.

Reports: Nurnberg sign Austrian striker talent Okotie
Nurnberg have strengthened their attack for the 2010-11 season with the signing on Austrian striking talent Rubin Rafael Okotie from Austria Vienna. Austria media reports have Nurnberg agreeing with the 22-year-old on a three-year contract.
Okotie, who was born in Pakistan to an Austrian mother and Nigerian father, would come without transfer fee from the Austrian club and could form an attack combo with German U21 international Julian Schieber, on loan for one season from Stuttgart.
Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen were among the Bundesliga clubs interested in Okotie, who had to sit eight months recently with a knee injury but has been ruled fit. He joins Almog Cohen (Maccabi Netanya), Christoph Sauter (Mainz) and Schieber (Stuttgart) as Nurnberg’s fourth acquisition for next season.

Raffael stays with Hertha, brother joins; Rensing, Hildebrand top candidates as Drobny replacement
Relegated Hertha Berlin are showing they are more than ready to win promotion back to the Bundesliga this up-coming season with the announcement that playmaker Raffael has extended his contract four years despite the drop to the second division.
Perhaps one reason for his decision was the fact that Raffael’s brother Ronny has agreed to a deal until 2013, arriving from Sporting Lisbon.
Raffael is the latest to show their commitment to Hertha, who have kept on Levan Kobiashvili, Roman Hubnik, Fabian Lustenberger and Valeri Domovchiyski. All told, Berlin are believed to have a 33 million euro budget for next season in the second division.
Manager Michael Preetz also hopes to keep striker Adrian Ramos. And Berlin are also interested in bringing back Ashkan Dejagah, who played from 2000 to 2007 at Hertha and has yet to accept Wolfsburg’s offer.
Bayern Munich’s Michael Rensing and Timo Hildebrand from Hoffenheim meanwhile are the two leading candidates to replace the departing goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny. Both keepers are free of transfer fee and must accept moving down from the top flight.

Beinlich new manager at Hansa Rostock
Former German international Stefan Beinlich has been named as new manager at third division side Hansa Rostock. Beinlich, 38, played 138 times for Hansa while they were in the Bundesliga. He later played for Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin and Hamburg.
Beinlich turned down the offer as Hansa Rostock manager in 2008 saying he lacked the experience. But he said yes this time, keeping good on his word to try and help the club.
And the new coach for the relegated side will be Peter Vollmann, who was a coach in Iraq in 2008 and signed on a one-year deal as Marco Kostmann’s replacement at Hansa Rostock.

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