Ferguson May Neuer Get A Better ‘Keeper Than Manuel
After Manchester United’s secured their all-important win over Schalke 04, Sir Alex Ferguson went out of his way to shake Manuel Neuer’s hand to not only show gratitude, but maybe to establish contact.
The Schalke goalkeeper was, undoubtedly, the only reason why his club has remotely the slightest chance of making it to Wembley for the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, and that may have pushed him to the top of Ferguson’s wish list.
The United manager knows just how significant it is to have a goalkeeper that can make both simple and great saves, so it would not be at all surprising if he made a couple inquiries about Neuer before he left Germany.
With Edwin van der Sar calling curtains on his Old Trafford career, Sir Alex has been forced to search far and wide for a goalkeeper fit enough to fill his big gloves. Little did the Gaffer know, the ideal replacement was not only right under his nose, but could also cost him a place in the final of the competition that he has an unhealthy obsession with.
The exchange that they had was brief and an acknowledgment of an outstanding performance, but the United manager did not need any encouragement from his players this time.
When he signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Clube de Portugal, he had his players, mainly John O’Shea and Gary Neville who had to mark him, urging him to sign the young winger. To their surprise, the United manager already made the proper contact before he left the stadium, which he later stated if he hadn’t it would have been “criminal.” And now, it could be a similar deal with similar kind of player.
As Ferguson has found the hard way, Great goalkeepers are few and far between and Neuer showed all of the United supporters that he is the real deal with a string of unteachable, reactionary saves. Those stops, single-handedly, kept his team with an outside chance of making it through to the final, because the 10 players in front of did not challenge United as they should have.
At a club like United, Neuer would not have to make more than one or two saves out of the top drawer every game, usually. Like with everything in life there are exceptions to every rule, but, for instance, van der Sar only had to make four or five comfortable, awareness type of saves against his teammates.
Neuer had a very solid showing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup last summer leading Germany to an unexpected third place finish, so he is okay handling and performing the pressure and expectation of playing in important games at the highest level. This does not mean that those displays will mean that he will be just as dominant at Old Trafford, because, as the supporters have witnessed first-hand with other top-rated ‘keepers.
At 25, he is a full-international German, and already he has been compared to the great Oliver Kahn, so he not only has the pedigree, but also personna to be a long-term solution to the void that will be left by VDS when he leaves.
Those two features are something that is, or at least should be, a prerequisite to come to the club.
Now the tricky part of landing Neuer’s services is how much and if he really wants to even come play in England. Even before his seismic performance against United, he was reported to be on Sir Alex’s shot-list, and then when he stated that he will be leaving Schalke, a club he has spent his entire career with, the speculation rose to another level.
Not only will United be desperate, but Bayern Munich, as well as other top German clubs, will be vying for his signature. A tearful Neuer showed
Right now, it is being reported that Schalke want at least £18m forhim, which is quite considering he will only have 12 months left on his contract. That is the price of business these days though, and clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester City have destroyed the transfer market with their complete disregard on what they are willing to pay for a player.
Sir Alex rarely misses his target, but this could be another case like David Villa, who already secured a move to Barcelona by the time the manager inquired with a bid.
Manuel Neuer had, according to Sir Alex Ferguson, the “finest display” he has ever seen against Manchester United, but, unfortunately, it looks as though a deal for him will not be happening – unless the Gaffer is keeping his cards close to his chest.
Submitted by The United Religion
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