Ribery fires Bayern Champions League warning

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The Independent Online

Bayern Munich’s French international forward Franck Ribery has warned that he will seek to leave the club if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a number of top clubs across Europe in recent months, despite being under contract to Bayern until the summer of 2011.



However, Ribery is concerned that Bayern may miss out on a top-two finish in the Bundesliga, as they currently stand third behind leaders Wolfsburg and second-placed Hertha Berlin.



He is quoted as telling L’Equipe: “It would be very difficult to stay in these conditions (to stay), that's certain.



“That's why the club at all costs have to finish second at the very least.”



Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar have warned Bayern off making any approach for their head coach Louis van Gaal.



The 57-year-old former Ajax, Barcelona and Netherlands boss has guided AZ to their first title since 1981 and only the second in the club's history.



That has brought van Gaal onto Bayern's radar, as they seek a long-term replacement for Jurgen Kilnsmann.



However, AZ chairman Dirk Scheringa told the Noordhollands Dagblat: "A premature departure is not up for discussion.



"The trainer has a contract with us until 2010 and I am of the opinion that he will fulfil that contract."



Meanwhile, Hamburg coach Martin Jol was pleased with his side's performance in their 1-0 win at Werder Bremen in the first leg of their all-German UEFA Cup semi-final.



Piotr Trochowski headed home the only goal of the game just before the half-hour mark in the Weserstadion, leaving Jol's side in pole position to reach the final.



The Dutchman told UEFA.com: "We got ourselves into a good position for this tie.



"We started very well, had a great chance in the second minute and then took a deserved lead.



"Altogether we did our job very well against a strong team, not many teams win here. But in the second half we should have scored a second.



"Our position is good and we want to reach the final."

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