Hertha Berlin are first in the queue for Stuttgart’s bright young attacking talent, Kevin Kuranyi.

General manager Dieter Hoeness has raised his head above the winter break parapet to signal a decisive stage in pursuit of the Brazilian-born 20-year-old.

Hoeness said: “We are watching him closely. We would be falling down in our responsibilities if we didn’t keep a close eye on the best new players around.” Stuttgart responded predictably.

Coach Felix Magath said: “Dieter is a good manager but, if I dare give him some advice, it would be to sign a few ‘real’ Brazilians if he wants more players. If he thinks we are going to release one of our best players who is under contract here until 2005 then he is being naive.

Kuranyi is an outstanding prospect but he could not achieve any more in Berlin than he can by staying with us.”
By Keir Radnedge