Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack has confirmed that he is tempted by the thought of playing outside Germany.

The midfielder, who earlier this week saw his new contract offer withdrawn by Bayern, has attracted attention from several of Europe’s leading clubs with Manchester United and Real Madrid reported to be keen on acquiring his services.

“It’s been a long time since an outfield player from Germany played at a top European club,” he explained to Kicker.

“I like the city of Munich and Bayern are great, but there are one or two other clubs that can compete with them and it would be a great challenge to play abroad.”

Ballack has denied reports that his decision will be motivated by cash alone.

“It’s absolutely shameless,” he said of the suggestions that he wants a bumper deal elsewhere.

“The accusation is baseless.

“I’m just trying to leave my options open.”

Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine