Liverpool target Kai Havertz has been urged to remain at Bayer Leverkusen by former German international Michael Ballack.
The 20-year-old is attracting interest from around Europe with his profile continuing to rise.
He broke in the Leverkusen first-team as a teenager and is on Liverpool’s radar.
But Ballack has cited the “perfect conditions” at the BayArena as a reason to resist a move elsewhere, but has placed huge importance on his former club qualifying for the Champions League.
“Players with his quality are in demand everywhere, but I think he’s in good hands in Leverkusen,” he told SportBild.
“The general conditions there are perfect for top young players and their further development. Leverkusen play attractive football, the training opportunities are very good. Leverkusen also offers a cautious environment.
“As a player [at Leverkusen] you can sometimes make mistakes without being the focus of criticism – you should appreciate that.
“Of course, a player like Havertz would also like to play in the Champions League, so it would be important for Leverkusen to qualify.”
Havertz has scored 10 goals in 34 outings for a Leverkusen side that are just two points outside the Champions League spots.
The 20-year-old’s versatility makes him a valuable asset and will only add to his desirability.
But Ballack has emphasised the need to determine when the time is right to take a step up.
“As a footballer he’d bring everything with him,” he added. “If we talk about Bayern, if you want to take the next step as a player, you also have to be prepared for such a challenge in order to survive in such a robust environment.
“That will really weigh up his surroundings – [determine] when the right time has come to take the next step.”