Bayern agree on Neuer deal
Bayern Munich have confirmed they agreed upon a deal with Schalke to sign goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The two clubs have signed an agreement which will see Neuer join the Bavarians on 1 July.
The German international will undergo a medical and sign a five-year contract at the Allianz Arena when he returns from international duty next week. The 25-year-old said: "I am really looking forward to this huge and exciting challenge at Bayern.
"Many of my international team-mates will be my team-mates in Munich. Therefore I won't be going into a new environment and will certainly settle in quickly."
Neuer's switch to Bayern was one of the worst kept secrets in European football after he confirmed he would not extend his contract at Schalke, but said he wanted to remain in the Bundesliga.
The keeper's contract expired next summer and Schalke could not afford to let him leave on a free transfer. He was linked with a move to Manchester United after his heroics in Schalke's UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat by the English champions, but that never looked likely.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "Bayern are very happy in Manuel Neuer to have signed for the long term not only the Germany number one, but also one of the best goalkeepers in the world."
Bayern had little choice but to sign a goalkeeper this summer, with 37-year-old Hans-Jorg Butt the only senior stopper on their books after they agreed to let Thomas Kraft join Hertha Berlin. Neuer has been Schalke's number one since making his debut in 2005, and made his farewell appearance in their DFB-Pokal final victory earlier this month.
Schalke general manager and board member Horst Heldt admitted the club had allowed Neuer to leave with a heavy heart. "This was a difficult decision for all those involved, because in Manuel Neuer the club are losing an outstanding player in every respect," he said.
"But we have now finally decided to accept Bayern's offer, because given the circumstances it is the best solution for Schalke. We also promised Manuel we would honour his wish to be able to move on in the summer.
"Even though it will certainly hurt almost all Schalke supporters to the soul to lose such a role model, we should not forget the great things Manuel Neuer has achieved at the club. In sporting terms, he had a huge role in the success of the last five years, this season in winning the DFB-Pokal and in reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time."
Bayern have also confirmed the signing of one of Neuer's former Schalke team-mates, Brazilian right-back Rafinha, from Genoa. The 25-year-old, who spent five years in Gelsenkirchen before moving to Serie A last year, has signed a three-year contract at Bayern.