Bundesliga - Bayern close in on Neuer

Mon, 18 Apr 14:27:00 2011

Bayern Munich have asserted that the signing of Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is merely a matter of time.

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The Bundesliga giants have struggled in the keeping department since the retirement of Oliver Kahn three seasons ago and have long-coveted Schalke’s Neuer as a long-term replacement for veteran Hans-Joerg Butt.

The recently-sacked Louis van Gaal’s opposition to the signing of Neuer - and his decision to drop Butt for youngster Thomas Kraft - are s understood to have hastened his departure, with Bayern’s hierarchy set on bringing the 25-year-old to the Allianz-Arena.

Bayern sporting director Christian Nerlinger told Suddeutsche Zeitung: "There is a clear direction. The question now is how fast the agreement will be reached."

Bayern president Uli Hoeness added: "I know his decision. He must see what happens."

Neuer said at the weekend that he had decided on his next move, with Manchester United also reportedly interested in the 20 million-rated shot-stopper.

Meanwhile, Butt returned to the Bayern team for the impressive 5-1 win over title-chasing Bayer Leverkusen, who slipped to eight points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund with four games left.

Bayern lie third, 14 points back and with no chance of the title.


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