Neuer, 24, has 18 months left on his contract in Germany and the Schalke No.1 could be just what Manchester United need as they look to replace Edwin Van der Sar, who is retiring at the end of this season.
The young keeper, who has spent his whole career at Schalke, has 16 caps for Germany and was a surprise choice as his country’s first-choice goalkeeper at last summer’s World Cup. Prior to the South Africa 2010, Neuer had only 4 caps, yet the 6’4″ Schalke native impressed in a tournament which saw Germany finish in 3rd place, beating England 4-1 in the second round.
Since improving his profile at the World Cup, Neuer has starred for Schalke in this season’s Champions League, conceding just 4 goals in 7 games, and helping take the German side to the last 16, where they are well positioned following a 1-1 draw away in the first leg of their tie with Valencia. But with Schalke’s league performances leaving much to be desired, they currently lie in 10th place, Manchester United are ready to offer Neuer a chance at one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Schalke’s chairman Clemens Tonnies has revealed Manchester United’s interest to German newspaper, Bild,
“An international consultant has approached me and informed me that Manchester United are interested in Neuer. If Manchester United present us with a written request, then we will deal with it.”
However, United will have to battle it out with Bayern Munich for the signature of Neuer, as Bayern’s hugely experienced manager, Louis van Gaal has already expressed his own interest in acquiring the German international,
“I think we could do with Manuel Neuer. A top team needs two top players in every position – in goal is no different. If Kraft can not accept this, then I recommend he leaves.”
United may find it difficult to tempt the German away from the Bundesliga, but should Alex Ferguson’s team recapture either the Premier League title or the Champions League come May, Neuer may find it difficult to resist a big money move to the Premier League to join the English/European champions.
Alex Ferguson desperately needs a top goalkeeper to replace Van der Sar, and Neuer has proven himself at the highest stage of all, the World Cup; the German’s age, experience and mentality (he dismissed Van Gaal’s comments above as mind games) suggest that he could become a stalwart for United for many years, should such a move prove successful.
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