Schalke have confirmed that keeper Manuel Neuer has turned down the offer of a new contract, paving the way for him to move to Bayern Munich.
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Since Schalke can only demand a fee for the Germany international this summer or lose him on a free transfer in 2012, a sale of the 25-year-old, who has been linked with Manchester United, is now inevitable and Bayern have already declared their interest.
"I have taken this decision without any external influence," explained Neuer on his club’s website.
"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."
Neuer’s move to Bayern is still some way away as the clubs must still agree on a fee, but Neuer’s departure from the Gelsenkirchen club should soon be sealed.
"As much as it hurts us, we have accepted this development and we respect it," commented the club’s director of sport Horst Heldt.
"How things develop with Manuel Neuer will emerge in the coming weeks and maybe months, but we are now concentrating on our sporting challenges and the rest will follow in due course."
Neuer also confirmed his commitment to the Royal Blues for the final few weeks of the season in which they are playing for a place in the final of the Champions League and for the DFB-Pokal.
"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," he added.
"I agree with Horst Heldt that we must have peace and quiet to be as successful as possible in the coming games."