Altintop could leave Bayern as he aims for regular starts

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The Independent Football

Bayern Munich midfielder Hamit Altintop is still considering the club's offer of a new contract and admitted he could depart this summer. The Turkey international's current deal with the German league and cup winners expires at the end of June, making him a free agent.

The 27-year-old endured a difficult start to the season following the arrival of Louis van Gaal as coach. However he made an increasingly important contribution to their double success after the turn of the year, starring in their Champions League matches against Manchester United and Lyons.

After deputising for the suspended Franck Ribéry in the Champions League final at the weekend and, in view of the return of Toni Kroos from his two-year loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen, he may not see too many chances to play next season. This is why he is considering his options.

"There is one serious alternative," Altintop said. "The sporting side of things is very important to me." But he admitted the offer Bayern have made him "is very good for a player who does not play regularly".

Edson Braafheid has vowed to take his second chance to impress when he returns to Bayern Munich at the start of next season. The Dutch full-back was signed by Van Gaal from FC Twente last summer, but he struggled to settle in Bavaria and was sent out on loan to Celtic for the second half of the season having made only nine appearances.

However, he has spoken to Van Gaal and is ready to return, bidding to make an impact in the Bundesliga. "I had a good conversation with the coach and I am going to get another chance," he said. "In hindsight, I probably left Bayern a bit too quickly. I should have taken a bit more time to get used to being abroad."

Braafheid, who is currently preparing for the World Cup with the Netherlands, has three years left to run on his contract with the German double winners.

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