Manuel Neuer Turns Down Contract Offer From Schalke 04

Manuel Neuer has turned down a new deal offered by Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04, making it almost certain that the German international will be moving on in the summer. While he's been heavily linked to Champions League semi-final opponents Manchester United in the past, Neuer now looks more likely to move to Bayern Munich instead, something that's likely to infuriate Schalke fans. In a post on the club's official website, Neuer discussed his reasons for wanting to make a switch:

I have taken this decision without any external influence. The decision has nothing to do with the change of coach or any other person at another club. I have a great deal to thank Schalke and their unique fans for, but I would like to have the opportunity for a change after 20 years' faithful service to this club.

I have made this decision and I wanted to make it public, but now all of the concentration focuses on Schalke's goals for the season. I agree with [director of sport] Horst Heldt that we must have peace and quiet to be as successful as possible in the coming games.

It'll be interesting to see whether he does end up at Bayern. Neuer is considered to be one of the finest goalkeepers in the world, and with his contract expiring at the end of the 2011/12 season Schalke will now be obligated to sell him for a comparatively low fee during the summer transfer window.

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