Neuer's dutiful deputy targets extended stay at Bayern

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Sven Ulreich is enjoying one of those rare spells where everyone at Bayern Munich depends on his safe hands, and the loyal deputy to Manuel Neuer hopes this will not prove to be his final season at the club.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper – two years Neuer's junior – has played second fiddle to the Germany great throughout his time at Bayern.

This is Ulreich's seventh season with the Bundesliga champions, with his Bayern career broken up by one year away at Hamburg in 2020-21, where he spent a campaign as a first-team regular, albeit in Germany's second tier.

Ulreich was a Bayern mainstay in the 2017-18 season, but that was only because Neuer fractured a foot, keeping him out for almost the entire campaign.

The former Stuttgart number one has been a dutiful Bayern stand-in when called upon, as he has been in recent weeks with Neuer sidelined by a shoulder problem. Head coach Julian Nagelsmann last week said he has "a lot of trust" in his second choice.

On Tuesday in Milan, Ulreich was due to face Inter in the Champions League, making an eighth appearance of the season. Given Neuer is back in training and on the comeback trail, Ulreich may not get a ninth game for some time.

With Ulreich entering the final months of his Bayern contract, he is hoping there could be an extension in the offing. Recent first-team exposure should help his cause, with Bayern having won every game where he has featured so far this term, going into the Inter game.

"I've always said that I'm having fun and enjoying myself here," Ulreich told Sky Sport Germany. "I think we'll talk about it at some point. It's still too early, but I can very well imagine staying here.

"I'll be 35 next year. There won't be too much coming. But I'm not thinking about the end of my career just yet. I still plan to play for two years.

"As long as you're healthy and having fun, you should play on and you shouldn't say no. I'm currently healthy and fit."