MUNICH - Germany coach Joachim Loew has offered 39-year-old former international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann a glimmer of hope over a possible return to the squad. Lehmann, who called time on his Germany career following the 1-0 defeat to Spain in last year's European championship final, had a recent change of heart and said he would like to play at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He also extended his contract with VfB Stuttgart to cover next season and postponed the publication of his memoirs until the end of next year. Loew and national goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke initially ruled out the possibility of Lehmann's return, saying it would send out the wrong signal for younger keepers vying for the top spot. However on Wednesday, Loew said the prospect of injuries could change his stance. "My starting point is that nothing will change from the current situation," Loew told Bild newspaper. "But of course there can be injuries or slumps in form." Former Arsenal keeper Lehmann was capped 61 times by his country and also played in the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany. "Jens is a very ambitious goalkeeper and his career has always been marked by clear targets," Loew said. "It is for him a personal target and motivation to be there in 2010 at another major tournament and I fully understand that." Hanover's Robert Enke, Rene Adler of Bayer Leverkusen, Tim Wiese from Werder Bremen and Schalke's Manuel Neuer are all in the running for first choice keeper. "We have absolute trust in our current keepers. So for this reason, Jens Lehmann is not an issue now."
15 April 2009
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