Hamburg hope billionaire fan can help them beat Manchester United to former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack - report

Ambitious German side Hamburg have begged a billionaire fan to come up with the cash to beat Manchester United to Michael Ballack's signing, according to Bild.

Ballack, 33, will be a free agent when his current contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the month after four years with the Premier League champions. While injury has ruled him out of captaining Germany at World Cup 2010, he is still high on the list of a number of sides in Europe.

Hamburg plan to lean on billionaire supporter Klaus-Michael Kuehne to provide the cash to meet Ballack's £110,000-a-week wage demands. Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen are all reported to have contact the player in recent weeks.

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