Free agent who netted winner v Chelsea on verge of Dortmund SOS

Almost two years after scoring against Chelsea, Manuel Friedrich could be about to sign a major deal.

On 23 November 2011, Manuel Friedrich netted a 90th minute headed winner to pour misery on an Andre Villas-Boas managed Chelsea side in the Champions League.

It landed Bayer Leverkusen a 2-1 win, but the result would ultimately be just a footnote on a season which Chelsea ended astoundingly as Champions League winners.

The fortunes for central defender Friedrich did not go so well, Leverkusen finished fifth in the Bundesliga missing out on the Champions League for the following season, and after Friedrich's goal against Chelsea helped them into the knockout rounds of that year's tournament - they were thrashed 10-2 on aggregate by Barcelona.

Last season the former German international's campaign was a real nightmare, injury meant he didn't play until late October, and just appeared in only 11 Bundesliga games all season.

He was released by Leverkusen in the summer, and surprisingly is still without a club. Having turned 34 in September, the perception was that his career had simply ground to a halt.

Perhaps not. For he is on the verge of a remarkable comeback. Rocked by a season ending cruciate ligament injury to Neven Subotic, and Mats Hummels also affected by niggling injuries which caused him to miss the Arsenal defeat, Borussia Dortmund are making a surprise move.

Friedrich has been invited to train with Dortmund this week, undergoing a trial, pictured on Bild's website undergoing drills alongside Nuri Sahin.

Jurgen Klopp described him as 'experienced' and 'class', and says that all he wants to see is his fitness, convinced Friedrich still has the ability. He is likely to make a decision on the defender next week, aiming to take his time and give the German time to get up to speed.

The last goal Friedrich scored in the Champions League was that late winner against Chelsea two seasons ago, but perhaps now he will have an unlikely chance to add to his story - and even save Dortmund from an early exit from the competition.

image: © tjuel

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