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Hoffenheim play down Roberto Firmino exit rumours; Andre Ayew yet to decide future

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol has rubbished reports linking Roberto Firmino with a summer exit from the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol has rubbished reports linking highly-rated No. 10 Roberto Firmino with a summer exit from the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

The former Figueirense starlet has been the subject of interest from a number of top European clubs, including Atlético Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, in recent times.

Firmino, 22, has already set career bests in goals (12) and assists (8) in the Bundesliga (22 appearances) this season, while adding six goals and four assists in four DFB Pokal matches.

The 22-year-old eye-catching performances in 2013/14 have earned him an average match rating of 7.82 on WhoScored.com.

To put that in perspective, Chelsea star Eden Hazard has an average match rating of 7.73 in the English Premier League and 7.23 in the UEFA Champions League. Combined Hazard has an average match rating of 7.65.

“These are just rumours,” Gisdol told Sport-BILD weekly.

“Roberto Firmino is under contract at our club and he is a first-team regular with us.

“In addition, everyone should be aware why Roberto is playing such a good game at this point in time.”

Firmino, whose current deal at the Rhein-Neckar Arena expires in the summer of 2015, is valued at around €20 million.

Andre Ayew yet to decide future

Olympique de Marseille winger Andre Ayew has revealed he has yet to decide his long-term future amid speculation linking him with a summer move away from the Stade Vélodrome.

The Ghana international, 24, was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League last summer but nothing materialised and the player agreed to stay in France after meeting with club officials.

With Marseille unlikely to challenge PSG and Monaco for the Ligue 1 title in the coming years, Ayew could decide to leave his boyhood club in favour of a new challenge.

“Why did I stay last summer? The officials told me about the project with young players to lead,” Ayew told L’Equipe. “I liked it.

“To me, there were first contacts at the end (of the summer). There were a lot of talks, but after August 20 I decided to stay.

“I would not change my decision at the last moment.

“Indeed next June I will have just one year remaining on my contract. So there are questions the club and me are thinking about.

“Have I received an offer of an extension? We have not reached that point so far.

“When the officials will be ready, or if they want to propose me anything, we will see.”

The 2011 Ghana Player of the Year will get a chance to showcase his talent on the biggest stage at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Ghana — priced at 250/1 to win the 2014 World Cup — have been grouped with Germany, Portugal and the United States in Group G.

Sun 2 March, 2014
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