HELMES CALM OVER EURO HOPES
Wolfsburg striker Patrick Helmes says he is not expecting a call from Germany coach Joachim Low before he names his squad for Euro 2012 next week.
With Miroslav Klose rated as doubtful for this summer's tournament, Low may have to call on another striker who has not been part of his squads recently, and Helmes has emerged as a potential candidate.
However, the 28-year-old, whose last cap came in August 2010 when he scored in a 2-2 draw with Denmark, told NDR television that he is not building his hopes up.
"Three or four months ago, that was utopian, but now things are going well and there is a lot of speculation," he said. "But that doesn't really interest me much. We will just see what the national team coach does."
Helmes was training with Wolfsburg's reserves before Christmas after his club's coach Felix Magath said he did not fit into his plans.
Magath even tried to sell the former Cologne striker in the winter, but reinstated him to his first-team squad a day after the transfer deadline passed.
Since then, Helmes has scored nine goals in nine games to help lift the Wolves into contention for a place in Europe next season, making him a candidate for the national team once again.
"I have had contact with the team manager and (assistant coach) Hansi Flick, which is positive," revealed Helmes. "I know that I am rated highly there."
Borussia Monchengladbach striker Mike Hanke is also being linked with a return to the national team, although his form has dipped in recent weeks.
Klose's season is already over due to injury and doubts about whether he will be fit to play at all in Poland and Ukraine could lead to his exclusion from the 23-man squad.
"I am really worried," said Low in the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "He has not played for weeks and has been injured for a long time, therefore we have got to see if we can get him back into the rhythm which is required for a tournament in just a few weeks."
Latest Football News at 13:00 BST