Schalke turning to a ‘new Neuer’

Posted on May 26, 2011

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Schalke Sporting Director Horst Heldt has a three-man shortlist to replace outgoing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, reports BILD.

The cup-winning captain has been strongly linked with a move away from Gelsenkirchen in recent months after another impressive season in the Bundesliga.

Sources close to Schalke and Neuer suggest that The Royal Blues and Bayern have already agreed a fee of £25m to complete Neuer’s move to the Allianz Arena.

Hopes of keeping Schalke’s captain are fairly subdued at Die Konigsblauen and attention has already turned to three potential targets to replace Neuer this summer.

According to BILD and KICKER, Schalke’s number one target is 20-year-old goalkeeper Kevin Trapp from Kaiserslutern.

Although, Schalke’s interest in Trapp is denied by Kaiserslutern boss Stefan Kuntz. He said: “Before talking to the agent,  he should talk to us. It’s not yet happened.”

The German youth international featured nine times for Kaiserslutern towards the end of last season and could cost Schalke around £4m this summer.

Trapp will face a head-on battle with Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann for the German U21 number one shirt in the foreseeable future, and the latter is another option for Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick.

20-year-old Baumann has established himself this season as Robin Dutt’s favoured choice in goal having made 30 appearances in the Bundesliga.

Baumann has been tagged as the new Jens Lehmann and has, arguably, been one of the players of the season in his individual position.

Hannover’s Ron-Robert Zieler is on the shortlist to replace Neuer and after a fine season, making 15 appearances, Zieler is the more ‘experienced’ option at 22-years-old. Zieler is contracted to Hannover until 2013 and could cost a similar fee to Kevin Trapp.

As Schalke prepare for an earlier start in the Europa League next season, the last thing Rangnick would hope for is that the Neuer-saga runs long in to the summer transfer window.

Same could be said for German national coach Joachim Löw who has two important Euro qualifiers in June.

He told BILD: “It would be good if there was an early decision. ”

It looks like silly season is well under-way and both Löw and Rangnick will be hoping this transfer involving Manuel Neuer to Bavaria can be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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