Tensions between Michael Ballack and Bayer Leverkusen have escalated in the wake of sporting director Rudi Voeller's
threat to ban agent Michael Becker for comments made about head coach Robin Dutt. After Becker said his client is being
made “a scapegoat” to mask problems within the club “because it’s clearly not possible to fire Robin Dutt at this time," Voeller responded angrily.
“He says he knows it all,” Voeller said of Becker, who has been Ballack's agent for more than a decade. “He can’t attack the club that way. He’s got a dark yellow card. Or he was in this stadium for the last time!”
Becker had been responding to comments made last week by Leverkusen managing director Wolfgang Holzhaeuser, who labeled Ballack a disappointment since returning to the club in 2010 from Chelsea. He will be out of contract this summer, and Becker said a move to MLS -- Montreal initiated talks of a January move but Ballack elected to stay with Leverkusen until his contract is up -- is among the possibilities. As a player in the last six months of his contract, Ballack is permitted to negotiate a change of clubs unencumbered by Leverkusen.