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Talks confirmed

Hans-Jörg Butt in line for back-up keeper role

Bayern’s search for a new number two goalkeeper may be coming to a successful conclusion, general manager Uli Hoeneß has revealed in an exclusive interview. The freshly-crowned double winners have opened talks with former Germany shot-stopper Hans-Jörg Butt over the role as back-up to new first-choice keeper Michael Rensing.

“We’re talking to him,” Hoeneß confirmed in an optimistic tone, “I could well imagine it’ll all be sorted out in the next few days.” Butt switched from Bayer Leverkusen to top Portuguese outfit Benfica last summer, but the man capped three times by his country never achieved regular status in Lisbon.

Hoeneß: We targeted Gattuso

Butt, who will be 34 on Wednesday and made his Bundesliga debut for Hamburg in 1997, still has a year to run on his contract with Benfica.

Hoeneß also confirmed reports that the Munich club had seriously pursued the signature of Italian World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso. “We fought for him right until the end, but it didn’t work out because Milan just put more and more money on the table,” the general manager revealed.

Financial responsibility

Hoeneß restated the club’s policy of only dealing in the transfer market at sensible prices. “It could well be we don’t bring anyone else in, because our opinion is that we don’t have to make deals regardless of the price. If we do decide to do something, we’ll all need to be convinced we’re genuinely strengthening the team in one or two positions.”

The only definite new face for 2008-9 is Germany midfielder Tim Borowski, switching to Munich for three years on a free transfer from Bundesliga runners-up Werder Bremen. Apart from Oliver Kahn and Bernd Dreher, who are both retiring, the only player currently known to be leaving the club is Hanover 96-bound Jan Schlaudraff.