Premier League - United boost in Neuer chase

Wed, 27 Apr 14:51:00 2011

Manchester United have been given a boost in the race to sign Manuel Neuer after Bayern Munich insisted they would not pay over the odds for the Germany goalkeeper, while Schalke hinted they would raise his price.

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The 25-year-old Neuer is set to leave his boyhood club this summer after admitting he would not sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season.

Schalke are eager to cash in on him, with his contract status meaning he would normally have been available for a relatively cut-price 15 million.

Bayern have long been touted as his future destination - with Sir Alex Ferguson claiming "I think we know" he will end up at the Bundesliga giants - but his man-of-the-match performance in Schalke’s 2-0 Champions League semi-final first leg defeat to United on Tuesday has seen his stock rise dramatically, potentially pricing him out of the German club’s reach.

"His value on the transfer market is already very high, I don't know if it can still go up," Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt said after the game in Gelsenkirchen.

"But watching this match, I said to myself, 'Why sell such a player?'"

Bayern chief executive Uli Hoeness was adamant they would not be held to ransom.

"We want Manuel, and where there's a will there's a way," he said.

"But Schalke cannot now demand an astronomical price."

The goalkeeping position has been a problem for Bayern since Oliver Kahn retired in 2008, with Hans-Joerg Butt and Thomas Kraft unconvincing in a poor season for the German title record holders.

United, meanwhile, are looking for a top-class replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar, with Neuer on a list of possible arrivals that reportedly includes Atletico Madrid’s David de Gea, Liverpool’s Pep Reina and Lyon’s Hugo Lloris.


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