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Bayern Munich have earmarked Mark van Bommel as a potential replacement for Michael Ballack.

Bayern expect Ballack to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, and are keen to secure a replacement before next season begins.

“He is a player that we like. He is not a number 10, not a pure playmaker who scores many goals. But he is a midfielder of high quality and, above all, a good character,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club’s website.

Rummenigge singled out Van Bommel’s contribution for PSV Eindhoven in last season’s Champions League semi-final against Milan.

“Van Bommel quite literally marched ahead with the flag for PSV and almost alone brought Milan to the brink of defeat,” Rummenigge added.

“We will find out from his manager and Barcelona if there is a fundamental willingness and a chance that he will move to Bayern. We will look into that in the coming weeks and see,” Rummenigge said.

Van Bommel joined Barcelona at the start of the season with a contract until 2008, but has failed to secure a place in the starting lineup.

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