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Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen have vowed to do everything they can to convince Brazilian winger Ze Roberto to stay at the club, and have ruled out the possibility of him signing for title rivals Bayern Munich.

"We are prepared to stretch to our financial limits to keep him and are very confident that he will decide to stay with us," managing director Reiner Calmund said.

"But if not, we would rather sell him to a foreign club. We have received offers from top teams all around Europe."

Calmund had been infuriated by comments made by his Bayern Munich counterpart Uli Hoeness, who claimed that he was ready to better any offer made by Leverkusen to land the 27-year-old.

"In the end all that matters is money and we have the money," Hoeness had said.

"Leverkusen would otherwise be forced to let him go for free when his contract runs out next year and now they have one last chance to cash in."

The £10 million rated Ze Roberto, meanwhile, has remained calm in the eye of the storm.

"I am not in a hurry to make a decision, all I have in mind is winning trophies for Leverkusen," he said.

Last year Leverkusen lost Croatian defender Robert Kovac to Bayern and midfield star Michael Ballack has already agree to join Ottmar Hitzfeld's side in June 2002.
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