Who is Neuer…this object of United’s affections? [Video]

manuel-neuerFootball FanCast columnist ‘The New Voice of Football’ runs the rule of Manuel Neuer, who has been tipped as a possible replacement for Edwin van der Sar.

Touted as the goalkeeper to replace Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United; this German International could be destined to heap further misery on the Old Trafford careers of Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak. The young Schalke keeper is apparently also wanted by European Champions Barcelona. But who exactly is Manuel Neuer?

With Van der Sar heavily tipped to retire at the end of the present campaign, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with a £12million swoop for 23-year-old Neuer to fill the impending void at the Premier League giants. Ferguson seemingly not ready to trust Foster or Kuszczak as the full time custodian for the Red Devils, when the Dutchman hangs up his gloves, with an announcement reportedly expected on his future next month.

Sir Alex had been suggested to be toying with the idea of bringing Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev to United from Champions League opponents CSKA Moscow to England in January. However, it’s now Neuer, who is said to be coveted by Barca as well as Ferguson, that is the keeper wanted to replace the veteran Van der Sar at United. Bayern Munich also said to want to keep the young German in the Bundesliga, should he leave Schalke.

Sources at the German club say United have already had a bid of £12million turned down last summer for the 6ft 4’ Neuer, who has already a string of personal awards in football to his name. The Schalke keeper being named best Bundesliga keeper in 2007, Champions League keeper in 2008 and best keeper at the European Under-21 Championships 2009, which were won by Germany.

Under contract until the summer of 2012, Neuer would definitely cost in the region of £12million or more, with the keeper already nearing a century of Bundesliga appearances and is expected to add to his one senior German cap from June this year in the very near future. But at that sort of money, would United be investing wisely in a keeper, who has already drawn comparison with Old Trafford legend Peter Schmeichel?

Watch Manuel Neuer in action

Well very easy to see how the comparisons have been made with Schmeichel based on that match winning performance in the Champions League. A keeper, who commands his box, is quick off his line can make reflex saves and when all else fails, improvises. Perhaps it’s a little unfair to compare him with Schmeichel just yet, but Neuer is definitely one of the best young keepers around would have the luxury of being able to settle in behind a very good defence at United.

While Neuer’s talent is without question his decision in role models maybe, former Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann said to be his idol as a child. United hoping the German will emulate their idol Schmeichel, which would be a bargain at £12million. As opposed to his own in the former Gunner Lehmann, which, wouldn’t.

On the surface Neuer seems to have the necessary credentials to take on the job between the sticks at Old Trafford. However, the position of goalkeeper has been littered with casualties in the post-Schmeichel era at United, with only the very best good enough for Sir Alex since the departure of the Great Dane. Ferguson’s hand apparently set to be forced into a January bid for the keeper due to the continued interested from Bayern and the Blaugrana and the failing of both Foster and Kuszczak to fill the gloves of Van der Sar at United.