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Hoffenheim hopeful on Volland, Firmino futures

Hoffenheim's head of international relations and scouting hopes the club can hang onto star names such as Volland and Firmino despite apparent interest from some of Europe's top clubs.

The pair have regularly been linked with moves abroad during recent seasons, with Brazilian midfielder Firmino having been a reported target for Premier League club Liverpool and Italian giants Juventus.

Volland's form since arriving from 1860 Munich in 2011 has helped him earn a breakthrough into the German national side, while Firmino has also been rewarded with a place in Brazil's squad during recent seasons.

Lutz Pfannenstiel hopes the pair, along with highly-rated defender Niklas Sule, will remain with the Bundesliga club for some time yet.

"There are always talks, but all three of them have contracts and it is very early days," Pfannenstiel told Perform.

"There is lots of speculation, but it shows we are on the right way.

"In the last two or three years there have been lots of changes, with lots of young players with plenty of potential, in Kevin Volland and Firmino we have two of the top offensive talents in Germany.

"There is also Niklas Sule, who came through our junior teams, and before he got his injury [the youngster tore knee ligaments in December] he was one of the league's top defenders.

"There are a lot of youngsters in our club who need to develop and who will definitely have the chance to aim as high as possible.

"We want to try and develop our own players and if they have the opportunity to move to a top European club then we will be very pleased.

"We did that with Luis Gustavo [now at Wolfsburg], who came out of Hoffenheim and went through the roof."

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