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Poldi Pushes for Transfer as Schweini Attracts Foreign Interest

Germany's famous football duo Poldi -- Lukas Podolski -- and Schweini -- Bastian Schweinsteiger -- could be separated at club level after both were linked with moves away from Bayern Munich.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, right, celebrates with teammate Lukas Podolski after Germany's semifinal win against Turkey at Euro 2008

Schweini, right, and Poldi, left, have been a national team double act since 2006

Podolski, 23, told the media Monday he has had enough of his role as a reserve player and told club officials he wants to leave the Bundesliga champions during the winter break.

Meanwhile, media reports speculate that a Real Madrid representative was due in Munich this week to talk to 24-year-old midfielder Schweinsteiger, who can leave on a free transfer in summer and has also been linked with a handful of Italian clubs.

Podolski and Schweinsteiger were the toast of the Germany team at the 2006 World Cup. Despite their age they have already won 60 and 62 national team caps, respectively.

Poldi's woes

Lukas Podolski waits on the bench during Bayern's clash with Hamburg

Poldi has spent more time on Bayern's bench than on the park

But while Schweinsteiger has been a regular starter at Bayern under new coach Juergen Klinsmann, striker Podolski has been unable to secure a regular first-team birth.

Podolski came to Munich from Cologne in 2006 for 10 million euros ($12.6 million) but has played just 58 games and scored a meagre 12 goals, far less than the 31 he has netted for Germany.

Furthermore, he has been made to stand in the shadow of Italian international Luca Toni and fellow Germany national team representative Miroslav Klose.

"I have told those responsible that I want to leave (the club) in winter," Podolski was quoted as telling the "Bild" daily.

Podolski has been frequently linked with a return to his home club Cologne, but Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness reiterated on the weekend that no player would leave during the winter break.

Schweini draws Italian, Spanish eyes

Bayern have started talks with Schweinsteiger about a contract renewal beyond 2009 but appear to face more and more interest from rivals clubs abroad.

Bastian Schweinsteiger reacts after scoring during the quarterfinal match between Portugal and Germany at Euro 2008

Bastian Schweinsteiger has drawn much interest from abroad

Sports magazine "Kicker" reported that Real's technical director Miguel Angel Portugal was scheduled to meet the player and his representatives this week.

Meanwhile, Italy's "La Gazzetta dello Sport" has linked Schweinsteiger with a move to Juventus. The report said Juve had prepared an offer for a four-year contract and an annual salary of 3.5 million euros should Schweinsteiger decide to part ways with Munich.

AC Milan are reportedly also after the midfielder despite speculation that Bayern could be ready to almost double his current salary of an estimated at 3 million euros.

Schweinsteiger has stated he would talk with Bayern first but that he could also imagine playing in another country.

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