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Toni released early by Bayern

Italy striker Luca Toni has been released prematurely from his contract with FC Bayern München after the 33-year-old struggled to break into the first team under coach Louis van Gaal.

Toni released early by Bayern
Toni released early by Bayern ©uefa.com 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

FC Bayern München have released Luca Toni from his contract. The Italy striker's deal was due to expire in 2011, but he will now be allowed to leave the German double winners on a free transfer.

Top scorer in the Bundesliga two seasons ago, the 33-year-old Toni struggled to break into the first team after Louis van Gaal's appointment as coach last summer and spent the second half of the 2009/10 campaign on loan at AS Roma.

Bayern's chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club's website: "I want to recognise Luca Toni for his effort and goals during the 2007/08 season when we won the double, and sincerely thank him for his contribution."

Toni moved to Bayern from ACF Fiorentina in July 2007 after scoring 47 goals in 67 Serie A games for the Viola. The former US Città di Palermo  forward enjoyed a successful debut season in the Bundesliga, striking 24 times as Bayern picked up the league and cup double.

Although his second campaign was beset by injuries, he still finished as the club's top scorer but last term he featured just four times in the league before moving to Roma in January. Capped 47 times by Italy, Toni may return to his homeland, with Genoa CFC among the clubs said to be interested in his services.