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Frings to be left out of Germany's World Cup squad

Germany head coach Joachim Low has confirmed that veteran midfielder Torsten Frings will not be part of his squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa this summer.

The 33-year-old has won 79 caps for his country to date, but now seems set to stay on that mark and retire from the international picture.

Low told the German Football Association's official website: "These upcoming weeks should be filled with important decisions. We'll deal in a very upfront way with our players.

"They will know who is a part of our plans and who is not. We owed this personal discussion to Torsten, as he has made such a vital contribution to our team for years.

"We can understand his disappointment with our opinion, but we have not taken the decision lightly.

"We have in our extended squad many young players who fulfil our requirements and who have very good prospects for the 2010 World Cup.

"We want now to introduce younger players to the level of the international stage, because we are convinced by them and have a big responsibility for their further sporting development."

Borussia Dortmund have agreed a contract extension with striker Lucas Barrios to keep the South American at the club until the summer of 2014.

The 25-year-old Argentinian moved to Germany from Chilean club Colo Colo last summer and has scored nine goals in 19 Bundesliga appearances so far this season.

That form prompted Borussia to open talks over a new deal which have now come to a successful conclusion.

Dortmund's technical director Michael Zorc told the club's official website: "We are very, very happy with the performances of Lucas so far this season.

"We're delighted that he has decided to sign a contract extension with us."

Meanwhile, Schalke head coach Felix Magath has ruled out selling star defender Benedikt Howedes in the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe, but Magath insists that selling such a talent would make little sense.

He told the club's official website: "Benni is a player who comes from here and has great potential.

"I don't expect him to get worse, but to get better. Therefore, it would not make much sense letting a player like him go."

Howedes has made a host of appearances for Germany's Under-21s side and is close to a call-up to Joachim Low's senior squad.