Manchester United may want to ensure that they win the Premier League this season to prove to goalkeeping target Manuel Neuer that the club is the best destination to play his football in the future.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s team currently top the Premier League by two points from Chelsea and more impressively are still to taste defeat this season.
This has left Manchester United’s betting odds at 15/8 to win the Premier League, but Ferguson knows that he must think of the future with current goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Saar playing what is likely to be his final season before retirement.
A deal has already been completed for Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard, but it is thought that Manchester United also want to add a more experienced goalkeeper to their ranks.
And it has now emerged that they lead the queue for current Schalke stopper Neuer, who appears to be unhappy at his current club.
Neuer criticised Schalke after their recent 5-0 defeat against Kaiserslautern and it is virtually certain that he will leave in the summer at the latest.
Bayern Munich have been the other club interested, but with their boss Louis van Gaal supposedly excited by young prospect Thomas Kraft, it is unlikely he will be keen to spend £16m.
Furthermore, Neuer himself would be reluctant to leave Schalke for one of the club’s chief Bundesliga rivals.
Neuer is now widely seen as Germany’s number one goalkeeper and it is his distribution that could prove a major asset for Manchester United.
The 24-year-old has many things in common with club legend Peter Schmeichel in terms of the accuracy of his throws and goal-kicks, alongside the command he has of his box and the ability to close down strikers when they are through on goal.
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