Ribery to reveal plans next week

BERLIN - Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery is to put an end to speculation on his future next week as the Bundesliga leaders march towards their first championship in two years.

Ribery has been the subject of transfer rumours for the past year with the 27-year-old France international repeatedly saying his sights were set on Spain.

"We have still some games to play and little recovery time," Ribery told Sport1 television this week.

"Therefore I believe I will decide soon what I will do next year. I hope to have taken a decision in the next week or 10 days."

Ribery denied his destination had been decided, despite reports that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea were interested in the player.

"No. There is at this time no club which says that I will come or to whom I am going," he said.

Bayern are desperate to hold on to the midfielder, who has created a lethal partnership with Dutch winger Arjen Robben, steering Bayern to the German Cup final and the Champions League last four where they take on Olympique Lyon next week.

Bayern board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he would want Ribery, with a contract until 2011, to stay on for at least another year and insisted Bayern had also not decided yet whether to let the player go if he wanted to.

"I assume that Franck will play for Bayern next season as well," Rummenigge told reporters on Thursday.

Bayern, given two days off this week after playing seven games in just 21 days, host relegation-threatened Hanover 96, eager to maintain their two-point margin over second-placed Schalke 04 with four matches left this season.

Schalke, still in the running for their first German championship in more than half a century despite their surprise 4-2 defeat by Hanover last week, take on Borussia Moenchengladbach, knowing only a win will do.

Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, with only an outside shot after taking a solitary point from their last four games, are at VfB Stuttgart, desperate to at least hold on to their Champions League qualification spot.

Leverkusen are on 54 points, four behind Schalke.

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