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United close in on German stopper

Manuel NeuerThe News of the World are reporting that Manchester United are very close to agreeing a deal to sign Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from Schalke 04. The 23 year old is believed to be one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and has reportedly been courted by United manager Alex Ferguson for a while now.

Neuer has put in a string of impressive performances for Schalke over the past couple of years which has led to a £10 million price tag being put on his head but Ferguson may well be willing to pay that price for a top goalkeeper with Edwin Van der Sar close to retirement and a lack of faith in backup ‘keepers Ben Foster and Tomas Kuszczak.

United have suffered in their search for goalkeepers following the departure of Peter Schmeichel back in 1999 with Van der Sar the only one who has looked capable of replacing the big Dane amongst a bunch of failures. Age is against the Dutchman now though and Ferguson will be keen to secure a replacement sooner rather than later with Igor Akinfeev and Neuer the names most linked to the role at Old Trafford.

So impressive has Neuer been for Schalke that he is set to battle it out with fellow promising goalkeeper Rene Adler of Leverkusen for the first choice goalkeeper spot for Germany’s World Cup squad which has remained open since Oliver Kahn’s retirement.

United are also said to be interested in another Germany-based goalkeeper with Freiburg’s Austrian ‘keeper Michael Langer said to be interesting Ferguson.

[Is there any substance to this and should this rumour Fly or Die?]

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Article title: United close in on German stopper

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