Advocaat aims to buy Lehmann

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The Independent Online

The plight of the Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, has alerted a number of German clubs to his possible availability, with Borussia Mönchengladbach reportedly leading the race to offer the former Borussia Dortmund player an exit from Highbury.

The plight of the Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, has alerted a number of German clubs to his possible availability, with Borussia Mönchengladbach reportedly leading the race to offer the former Borussia Dortmund player an exit from Highbury.

Lehmann has been dropped by the Gunners manager, Arsène Wenger, in favour of Manuel Almunia and speculation is mounting that the Germany international could return to the Bundesliga in an attempt to keep alive his hopes of playing in the 2006 World Cup, even if that would almost certainly mean a cut in wages.

Mönchengladbach's new coach, Dick Advocaat, formerly of Rangers, is looking to build a squad and the club are confident the offer of regular, first-team football will be too attractive for Lehmann to pass up.

"Normally, such a transfer would be difficult to achieve, but if Jens sits on the bench for much longer, then who knows what happens?" Borussia's director of football, Christian Hochstatter, said. "When somebody like Lehmann becomes available then you've certainly got to consider it."

Mönchengladbach are also on the verge of signing Advocaat's former captain at Rangers, Craig Moore. The 29-year-old, who has not played since September following a double-hernia operation, fell out with Advocaat's successor, Alex McLeish, over his participation in the Athens Olympics.

The France coach, Raymond Domenech, has insisted that Lehmann's team-mate at Arsenal Robert Pires could return to the international fold. Pires was left out of the France squad for the friendly against Poland in November after criticising Domenech, who took over following Euro 2004. "There is no reason why Robert cannot come back into the France team," Domenech said. "I do not have a blacklist. When you are a coach, you cannot ban a player for these reasons. I only judge a player on his performances.

"The most important thing for a coach like me is to build a squad after Euro 2004 in the present and not worry about what has happened in the past."

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