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O. Deman (9)
J. Frimpong (42), Á. Grimaldo (76)

Xhaka "still learning" from Xabi, Rolfes continues to dismiss transfer speculation

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Shortly after the easy win that saw them rightfully reclaim their place atop the Bundesliga table, it was Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka and club managing director Simon Rolfes' turn to lavish praise on "birthday boy" Xabi Alonso. 

Rolfes also used the occasion of his post-match interview to reiterate that he and the club remained unfazed by speculation linking Xabi and star phenom Florian Wirtz with moves away from the club. 
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Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Having being labelled a "legend" by star German phenom Florian Wirtz in an interview yesterday, Bayer 04 Leverkusen trainer Xabi Alonso received more presents on the occasion of his 42nd birthday. The Spanish head-coach's team cruised to an easy 3-0 victory over SV Werder Bremen on Saturday afternoon; taking top spot in the table back from German record champions FC Bayern München following their victory over Köln in the match-day 12 curtain-raiser Friday night.

"That's an easy one to answer," Bayer midfielder Granit Xhaka said when asked about the secret to the team's success in his post-match interview with Sky Germany, "We have a great team, a great coach, and a great mentality. Our daily work manifests itself on the pitch."

Xhaka had special praise for Alonso.

"I'm 31-years-old and have gained a lot of experience abroad," Xhaka continued, "I still learn from Xabi every day. It's a dream to play for him. He's a world class appointment and still gives me new things to learn."

B04 managing director Simon Rolfes concurred. In specific reference to Wirtz's interview yesterday, the club administrator took the opportunity to reiterate that he felt "relaxed" about the speculation linking both Xabi and his star player with moves away from the organization.

"Florian is a very important part of both the team and club," Rolfes said, "He enjoys the total backing of everyone. That's why we don't think [about a move away] and neither does he. [Wirtz] confirmed that again yesterday, so we're pretty relaxed about it."

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