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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Neuer turns down Schalke deal

ESPNsoccernet staff

Manuel Neuer is certain to leave Schalke in the summer after turning down the offer of a new contract.

Neuer, 25, has been linked with a move to Manchester United but is almost certain to sign for Bayern Munich.

Talk of Neuer moving to Bayern has not been popular among the Bavarian club's fans, but despite that he is likely to make the move for a cut-price fee with his current deal due to expire in the summer of 2012.

"I have taken this decision without any external influence,'' explained Neuer on Schalke'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.

"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. I agree with [director of sport] Horst Heldt that we must have peace and quiet to be as successful as possible in the coming games.''

Heldt added: "As much as it hurts us, we have accepted this development and we respect it. 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.''

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