Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expected to move from Schalke to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Schalke captain Neuer, 25, has confirmed that he will not be signing an extension to his contract with the Gelsenkirchen outfit.
His current deal expires in 2012, meaning Schalke will be forced to sell one of their prized assets for a cut-price or accept losing him for nothing when his contract runs out.
“I wanted to be honest and explain my decision,” Neuer said.
“I want to develop further and take a new big step in my career.”
“I want to continue playing in the Champions League, at the highest level.”
“I know this is not a great moment for Schalke fans, but I am a professional footballer and I am looking from a different perspective.”
“It is clear some fans will be upset.”
Neuer had been heavily linked with a move to replace retiring Dutchman Edwin van der Sar at English Premier League leaders Manchester United.
But he is now tipped to remain in Germany with Schalke’s fierce rivals Bayern.
Newspaper Bild claims the goalkeeper has agreed a four-year deal at the Allianz Arena, with the transfer fee rumoured to be approximately 17 million pounds.
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