The coach of German club Schalke, Felix Magath, is hoping that the club can hold on to the services of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The German shot-stopper is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and interest in him is high. At only 24 years of age, the 1.94 metres German keeper has more than a decade to play at the top level of football. Until now, he has always played for Schalke 04, first as a youth between 1991 and 2004, and then as a professional senior player from 2004 onwards. His idol has always been Jens Lehmann, and he has all the talent to be his successor. He was named the Best Bundesliga Goalkeeper in 2007, and the Best Goalkeeper in the UEFA European Under 21s Football Championship in 2009, when the German Under 21s won the title. In 2005, he won the German League Cup with Schalke. This summer, he was part of the German squad in South Africa for the World Cup and received the bronze medal after his team ranked third. Neuer played in all of Germany’s matches as the Number One goalkeeper, with the only exception being the last match, the Third/Fourth Place Play-off against Uruguay.
Manchester United are presently looking to find a replacement for Dutch legendary goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, which will surely be remembered in the future as one of the best goalkeepers ever to play for the Red Devils. However, time is fast catching up on Edwin’s career, as he celebrated his 40th birthday in October. One of the goalkeepers that United are looking at is Manuel Neuer, and if press reports are to be believed, their interest in him is very strong. His club Schalke 04 has started the 2010/11 extremely badly, finding themselves in the 16th place in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga table. This cannot be attributed to poor goalkeeping, as Neuer conceded 19 goals in 12 matches, which is approximately the same as most clubs in the Bundesliga, and some clubs above Schalke in the table conceding more than this amount of goals. To make things worse, the club is in financial trouble. However, Magath is hopeful that the club can hold on to Neuer just like Juventus held on to Buffon when they were in trouble. In translated comments to Bild, Magath said:
“There is no doubt I am confident about keeping Manuel Neuer, plus the rest of our key players at our club, even though it looks like future revenue could become more difficult if we are not in any European competition next season.”
“We have established the requirements to end up as champions of the Bundesliga in the next couple of seasons.”
“Everyone knows that a world-class shot-stopper like Gianluigi Buffon once stayed at Juventus, even though Juventus were a second-tier club for one season.”
“I have an obligation to show Manuel Neuer that he has a good future at the club. Just looking at the current Bundesliga table, Manuel Neuer would not be playing in the Champions League with Bayern Munich next season.”
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