Bayern Munich have shored up their defence with the double signing of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and right-back Rafinha.Germany number one Neuer, 25, joins from Schalke on a five-year deal, bringing to an end drawn-out negotiations between Bayern and their Bundesliga rivals.
Bayern had targeted a quality shot-stopper after 37-year-old Hans-Jorg Butt and 22-year-old Toni Kraft had shared the duties in the 2010/11 campaign, in which the defending champions finished a disappointing third.
“FC Bayern Munich and FC Schalke 04 agreed to terms of the transfer of Manuel Neuer. Consequently, Neuer will join the German record champions on July 1, 2011,” Bayern said through a statement on their website on Wednesday.
Neuer’s star had risen during Schalke’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions League, and he told of his delight at sealing a switch to the Bavarian club.
“I’m really looking forward to a great and exciting challenge at Bayern,” he said. “Many colleagues from the national team are now my team-mates in Munich. So I will not enter an unknown territory and should settle in quickly.”
Another familiar face for Neuer in Munich will be Brazilian Rafinha, who joins Bayern from Serie A outfit Genoa.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to the Bundesliga, having been a team-mate of Neuer’s at Schalke from 2005 to 2010.
Rafinha has signed for Bayern until the end of the 2013/14 season.