The fourth estate report that Schalkeâ€™s goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, is on the verge of signing for Manchester United. The German club are demanding around Â£10million for their young star and United are prepared to pay that price.
39-year-old Edwin van der Sar will decide on his future in the coming weeks, with his retirement from the game a possibility. However, even if the veteran keeper does decide to play for another season, Neuer is still at the top of Ferguson’s hit list. The Dutch legend has managed only seven appearances this season, which has increased United’s urgency to source a long term replacement for the number 1 jersey. Sadly for Ben Foster, it doesn’t appear that the youngster can cut the mustard at the highest level, whether that be for Manchester United or England.
The 23-year-old guardian has been at Schalke from a young age and worked his way up through the academy and reserves until he became first choice keeper midway though the 2006-2007 season.
He has all the attributes to become one of the worldâ€™s best goalkeepers. Neuer possess excellent positional sense coupled with tremendous reflexes. His aerial ability is outstanding and he is comfortable with the high ball as well as showing extreme bravery in one-on-one situations.
However, his form last year was erratic lurching from the sublime to the ridiculous, although this lack of consistency is somewhat mitigated by his relatively young age and lack of experience. One of the outstanding games that he had was against FC Porto in the Champions League last season where he made a string of unbelievable saves to keep the Portuguese team at bay. The tie went to penalties where he saved two to help Schalke to the quarter finals (see here).
The 6ft 3 inch goalkeeper is beginning to break through Germanyâ€™s international squad and made his debut for the senior team this past closed season.
Neuer is definitely up for sale; his club admitted that if his Â£10 million valuation is met he will be on his way to a new club. Bayern Munich flirted with purchasing the young keeper during the summer but did not meet Scaleâ€™s asking price. The Bavarian club have claimed that they will not make a move for him during the winter, leaving the way clear for United to make a bid.
Video evidence of Manuel Neuer can be seen here.