NEWS: Is Pizarro rejoining Bayern? Hertha lose playoff appeal and Barnetta leaves Leverkusen

The Peruvian striker returns to Bayern according to TZ.

Werder Bremen’s Claudio Pizarro won’t extend his expiring contract and leave the green and whites,  and will join Bayern München next season according to Munich paper TZ. The speculations around Bremen’s top scorers future have in the recent past pointed towards a departure. Pizarro has been very disappointed about Bremen’s poor finish in this season’s Bundesliga, and didn’t want to play another season without being able to appear in European competition according to several German media outlets.

TZ didn’t reveal any details about Pizarro’s contract, just stating that he will earn roughly around 4.5 million euros per season. Pizarro has scored 60 goals in 103 Bundesliga matches for Bremen during the last four seasons. The Peruvian had also a stint at Bayern prior to his return to Bremen. Pizarro scored 71 goals in 171 matches between 2001 and 2007 whilst playing for Die Roten.

At this current moment the only thing that has been confirmed is that Pizarro is going to leave Werder. One day prior to the TZ story about Pizarro signing for Bayern kicker, wrote that the Peruvian was likely to join Schalke. Where Pizarro will play is probably going to be revealed at the end of the week.

Werder Bremen Add Goalkeeper Wolf

While the Pizarro soap opera continues, Werder Bremen did announce the signing of goalkeeper Raphael Wolf from Austrian club Kapfenberg.  Wolf, 23, was born in Munich and played in 25 matches for the Werder reserves between 2007-2009.  Regular Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese recently joined Hoffenheim, leaving backup Sebastian Mielitz to battle with Wolf for the starter’s position.

Long-time Werder Coach Thomas Schaaf commented.

“It is great that we have been able to sell Werder to Raphael Wolf.  We now have very good candidates for the goalkeeper position and it is going to be a high-level competition for that position, which is what we wanted.”

Hertha Loses Playoff Appeal

The DFB ruled Monday not to allow Hertha Berlin’s appeal for a replay of their second leg promotion playoff loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf.  The game, which was marred by unruly fans running onto the pitch and throwing flares with just moments left in stoppage time.  Referee Wolfgang Stark delayed the match for a half hour until order could be restored, after which the two clubs reappeared on the pitch and played out the game’s final 90 seconds.  The result earned Fortuna Dusseldorf promotion while Hertha was relegated to 2. Bundesliga.

A DFB tribunal debated Hertha’s appeal for almost seven hours last Friday, before making their decision.  In the words of tribunal Chairman Hans Lorenz…

“The appeal was unsuccessful as no reasonable grounds for an appeal could be established.   The referee reacted in accordance with the laws of the game and Hertha BSC’s claim of a disadvantage because of the match interruption could not be substantiated.”

Barnetta Leaving Leverkusen

Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta will be leaving Bayer 04 Leverkusen upon the expiration of his contract next month.  Leverkusen spokesman Dirk Mesch revealed that midfielder Barnetta had turned down Leverkusen’s offer of a contract extension.  His imminent departure follows that of goalkeeper Rene Adler, who recently signed with Hamburger SV.

Barnetta, who turns 27 on May 22, has been with Die Werkself since 2004, playing in 180 matches.  Barnetta came to Leverkusen directly from Swiss club St. Gallen, based in his hometown.  Injury limited the midfielder to only seven Bundesliga appearances during the past season.

Barnetta, who has represented Switzerland on 59 occasions, was rumored to be headed to Lazio or Napoli six weeks ago.

Schalke to Host AC Milan

FC Schalke, who visited the U.S. for the first time in nearly 50 years two weeks ago, have a treat in store for their Gelsenkirchen fans as they announced that AC Milan will be visiting the Veltins Arena for a friendly match on July 24.  Milan finished the Serie A season in second place, four points behind Juventus.


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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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