Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer has revealed that the club are interested in signing Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.
The Dutchman is seen by Beckenbauer as the ideal replacement for Ballack, who left the club in May 2006, and whose creativity has been sorely missed by Bayern this season.
“Van der Vaart would suit us perfectly,” said Beckenbauer, in his weekly column in the magazine Sport-Bild.
“He is the sort of player who can bring us the creativity which we are lacking at the moment.”
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld admitted he was a big admirer of the 24-year-old playmaker.
“We need creators in our squad and Van der Vaart would also bring a tougher edge to our defence,” said Hitzfeld.
Van der Vaart, who arrived in Hamburg from Ajax in 2005, is under contract until 2010, although his agent admitted that he was ambitious to win silverware.
The player’s Soeren Lerby, a former Bayern player, said: “Rafael is enjoying his time in Hamburg, but he also wants to play to earn champion titles.”
Hitzfeld has also expressed his interest in Werder Bremen striker Miroslav Klose, who was the top scorer at the 2006 World Cup.
“We are always interested in good German players, that’s why we are following the Klose case,” added Hitzfeld.
Klose, 28, is also attracting attention from Juventus, who see the prolific striker as the ideal man to kickstart their expected return to Serie A.