Manchester United Edge Closer to Clinching Crucial £16m Signing

Sir Alex Ferguson keen on bring German international to Old Trafford.

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Political infighting at Bayern Munich has left the way clear for Manchester United to snap up their top goalkeeping target Manuel Neuer.
Schalke’s Germany No 1 seems certain to leave at the end of the season, if not sooner, after heavily criticising his side’s 5-0 defeat at Kaiserslautern and claiming they were in danger of being relegated from the Bundesliga.
Bayern and United looked to be shaping up for a straight fight for the 24-year-old, but Sportsmail can reveal that a war of words behind the scenes at the Allianz Arena has left Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson in pole position.

While president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge both strongly favour a move for Neuer, manager Louis Van Gaal is standing up to them and insisting the club stick with 22-year-old prospect Thomas Kraft, who won rave reviews on his Champions’ League debut against Roma last week.
As a further encouraging sign for United, locally-born Neuer, who has retained his membership of Schalke’s supporters’ club, is wary of upsetting a fan base who would prefer him to move abroad rather than to bitter rivals Bayern.

Neuer, under contract until 2012 and valued at around £16million, refused to discuss his future after Saturday’s mauling at Kaiserslautern, but said: ‘That was a catastrophe and I have no explanation for such a disastrous performance.
‘I can understand why the fans were so angry because if we keep playing like that, we will be relegated.’ (Daily Mail)

Despite the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson has landed Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard, the Man United boss has made it clear he would still be looking for further alternatives to the retirement bound Edwin Van der Sar and moves towards signing German international Manuel Neuer appear to be growing and it will be interesting to see if indeed the Premier League club make an offer for the Schalke man in January.

Whilst £16m may seem a steep price to pay for a new custodian, Ferguson knows the importance of a safe pair of hands behind his back four and a move for the talented 24 year old would be a very wise one indeed.

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