Manuel Neuer will be number one at Bayern Munich next season and will help Alexander Nubel to develop, according to Oliver Kahn.

Neuer's contract expires in 2021 and there are reports of an impasse in talks over a new deal, leading to suggestions the 34-year-old could be moved on at the end of the season.

Bayern have already signed Nubel on a five-year deal, with the Schalke goalkeeper to switch to the Allianz Arena on a free transfer ahead of the next campaign.

However, Bayern board member and former keeper Kahn expects Nubel to be second choice next term, as he predicts Neuer will continue at the highest level for some time.

"In general, as I have shown myself, goalkeepers can of course play into old age, but maintaining a high level is a great challenge," Kahn, who retired at 38, told Sport Bild.

"In Alexander Nubel, we get a highly talented goalkeeper, who has the chance to develop and learn behind Manuel Neuer. Not many have the opportunity to work with the best goalkeeper in the world every day."

While 2019-20 is on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bayern are said to be putting transfer plans in place ahead of next season.

Interim boss Hansi Flick said this month that he believes coaches should have the power to veto transfers proposed by club managers, amid suggestions he has been at odds with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic over Bayern's planning.

Kahn admits it is important that Bayern "march in one direction in order to develop the team further".

He added: "Of course, the coach is a very important factor in terms of transfer plans. Hasan Salihamidzic, Hansi Flick and I discussed and coordinated this and other topics intensively.

"The coach can and should put forward his ideas."

Manuel Neuer turned 34 on Friday, but the Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper is still going strong.

Captain for both club and country, Neuer has helped Bayern to seven straight Bundesliga titles, plus a Champions League triumph, and also won the World Cup six years ago.

Despite intense pressure from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the former Schalke star remains Germany's number one.

And Neuer is adamant he will maintain a starting role at Bayern next season after the arrival of Alexander Nubel, even if the veteran was linked to Chelsea this week.

To mark his birthday, we take a look at the key numbers - with the help of Opta - from a career that shows no signs of slowing.
 

576 - Neuer has made more senior club appearances - for Schalke and Bayern - in all competitions than any other Bundesliga player since 2006-07.

92 - The keeper is closing on a century of Germany caps since his June 2009 debut. He has been captain since September 2016.

5 - Just four other goalkeepers in Bundesliga history - Richard Golz, Gerhard Heinze, Eike Immel, Ulrich Stein - have made at least 150 appearances for two different clubs. Neuer played 156 times for Schalke, before turning out for Bayern on 241 occasions.

188 - Oliver Kahn (196) is the only goalkeeper to have kept more Bundesliga clean sheets than Neuer.

0 - No keeper can better Neuer's tally of 188 clean sheets in Europe's top five leagues since 2006-07. Former Bayern team-mate Pepe Reina is second on that list with 171.

47 - Of Bundesliga goalkeepers to have played at least four games, Neuer (47 per cent) has the best clean sheet rate. He has kept a clean sheet in 52 per cent of his league games for Bayern.

0.78 - Neuer concedes the fewest goals per game of any keeper with at least five appearances in Bundesliga history. Again, that statistic improves further to just 0.65 goals per game when playing for Bayern.

20 - The World Cup winner holds the record for the most clean sheets in a Bundesliga season, achieved in both 2014-15 and 2015-16. He surpassed Kahn's 2001-02 benchmark of 19.

107 - Since his Champions League debut in 2007-08, Neuer is the only goalkeeper to tally over a century of appearances in the competition.

42 - Neuer has also kept the most Champions League clean sheets in this time.

35 - Earlier this season, Neuer surpassed Kahn (33) for Champions League clean sheets for Bayern. He is one shy of Kahn's record DFB-Pokal tally of 33 clean sheets.

76 - Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, Neuer has the best passing accuracy percentage of all goalkeepers with at least 20 Bundesliga appearances.

1 - Neuer has played only once on his birthday, keeping a clean sheet as Schalke beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 away from home in 2010.

0 - Despite his regular forays outside the penalty area, Neuer has never been sent off.

Manuel Neuer has been called "by far the best goalkeeper in the world" by Hansi Flick, suggesting the incoming Alexander Nubel will start his Bayern Munich career as a deputy.

Bayern are four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and on a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions, with Neuer among those to have rediscovered his best form.

The 33-year-old Germany international's place as Bayern's number one beyond this season had looked under threat when the club announced Nubel, 23, would be joining them in July on a free transfer from Schalke.

However, Neuer, who has also so far staved off the threat to his international spot from Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, has the backing of his club boss Flick.

"Everyone knows what I think of Manuel," Flick told Sport Bild. "He is by far the best goalkeeper in the world, I have no doubts about that.

"Therefore there is no alternative for me. Manuel leads the team, it gives him the necessary security.

"We have a clear hierarchy with the goalkeepers. It will be the same next year."

Nubel's impending move to Bavaria was announced in January, and Schalke, who Neuer also left to join Bayern, announced they were stripping the goalkeeper of the captaincy as a result.

He has also lost his place in Schalke's team, as he was dropped for the previous two games against Bayern and Hoffenheim.

Flick, who is only under contract at Bayern until the end of this season for the moment, revealed he was not involved in discussions over the signing of Nubel.

"I wasn't asked," Flick said. "But, of course, I knew that he would be committed. That was an issue that affected the next season."

Bayern Munich versus Chelsea is the latest confirmed Champions League game to be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

Bavarian authorities announced on Tuesday that all events where more than 1,000 people would be attending between now and April 19 are to be cancelled.

It means the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the Allianz Arena will be held without fans present on March 18, assuming the match goes ahead.

Bayern lead the tie 3-0 after a commanding first-leg victory at Stamford Bridge.

The decision comes despite RB Leipzig's match at home to Tottenham on Tuesday proceeding as planned, with supporters allowed to attend.

Valencia against Atalanta, Paris Saint-Germain's game with Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona versus Napoli are also being played behind closed doors as the coronavirus continues to spread across Europe.

There are suggestions Juventus' clash with Lyon in Turin could be postponed after Italy went into lockdown to try to control the outbreak of COVID-19.

Saturday's Bundesliga derby between Dortmund and Schalke will also be staged without fans.

There were 1,129 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany as of Monday.

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick was satisfied with his team's performance after edging Schalke 1-0 in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals.

Joshua Kimmich's 40th-minute goal proved to be enough as Bayern dominated possession at the Veltins Arena on Tuesday.

Despite the narrow victory, Flick was happy to move into the last four as Bayern remained on track for a second straight DFB-Pokal crown.

"My team played very well and very intelligently. I am satisfied with the way we won this game," he said, via the club's website.

"We played against a Schalke side that played very defensively. Nevertheless, we created chances and did very well overall, during the game we had over 80 per cent possession.

"At the end of the day, it's always important in the cup that you progress. We're in the semi-finals, so I'm very proud of my team. The players are in good spirits, they're in good form.

"We didn't want to change much. We'll start to recover now, the boys will have a day and a half off and then we'll start our preparations for the game against Augsburg."

Kimmich drilled an effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after a corner was cleared into his path before half-time.

The defender acknowledged it was a tough encounter, but felt Bayern deserved their win.

"I don't think it was possible to roll over opponents like the side we faced because Schalke played very deep and narrowed lots of space. It was not always possible to play fast and directly," Kimmich said.

"We tried to, but not everything worked out. We also had two or three dangerous counters against us. All in all, it was still a well-deserved victory.

"I'm happy that I made it 1-0 and that the game ended like that. At that moment you just go for it and hope that it goes in."

Top of the Bundesliga, Bayern host Augsburg on Sunday.

Bayern Munich are into the DFB-Pokal semi-finals for an 11th successive season thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Bundesliga rivals Schalke on Tuesday.

David Wagner's Schalke certainly had their moments at the Veltins Arena, especially in the first half, but Bayern were more clinical and their superior quality told in the end to continue the defence of their crown.

Despite having far more of the ball, Bayern were fortunate to survive a few first-half scares as Guido Burgstaller proved particularly dangerous when hitting the crossbar and having a goal chalked off, but the visitors went into the break ahead thanks to Joshua Kimmich's strike.

The home side were significantly less effective going forward in the second half and Bayern should have increased the advantage, but the one-goal lead was enough to secure progression.

Schalke had the better of the thrilling early exchanges, as Alessandro Schopf curled just wide before Burgstaller struck the bar and then also had a goal disallowed for straying marginally offside.

Bayern dominated possession, having 83 per cent of it in the first half, but their first genuine chance actually came via a Schalke defender – Jean-Clair Todibo back-tracking to meet Kimmich's cross and his headed clearance forced Markus Schubert into a wonderful acrobatic stop.

Schubert was helpless from the resulting corner, however, the set-piece cleared as far as Kimmich on the edge of the box and his effort found the bottom-left corner through a crowd of players.

Philippe Coutinho almost extended Bayern's lead just past the hour, his long-range curling effort coming back off the bar a few minutes before Benito Raman shot tamely at Manuel Neuer when one-on-one following a bursting run from Rabbi Matondo.

Former Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka went close to a remarkable goal 18 minutes from time – his overhead-kick from about 16 yards clipping the bar, but Bayern were not made to rue that misfortune.

What does it mean? Bayern unconvincing at the back

Although Bayern managed to hold on to a clean sheet, they were caused genuine problems in the first half against a Schalke team struggling for form – indeed, they had won only once in the regulation 90 minutes since the turn of the year.

Schalke arguably did enough to lead at the break, with Bayern's backline lacking concentration at times. A better team might not have been as wasteful.

All-action Kimmich is everywhere

It is nothing new to anyone accustomed to watching him, but there seems to be nothing Kimmich cannot do. He attempted – and completed – more passes than anyone else, had the most touches, created the joint-most chances (two) and got the winning goal.

Muller offers little

Thomas Muller got the nod ahead of youngster Joshua Zirkzee in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, but the experienced forward was quiet, having just a single shot – which he should have done better with – in the entire game. A hapless short-corner attempt summed up his day, as he failed to even get the pass in play.

What's next?

Bayern host Augsburg as they return to Bundesliga action on Sunday, while Schalke will be hoping to end their miserable form at home to Hoffenheim the day before.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick is hoping on-field issues are the focus against Schalke on Tuesday - although he conceded further fan protests are a possibility.

Flick's men handed out a 6-0 thrashing to Hoffenheim on Saturday but the result was overshadowed by protests from the Bayern ultras, who held up offensive banners towards the home club's owner Dietmar Hopp.

After the referee took the players off the pitch to wait for the banners' removal following appeals from the Bayern players, the two teams saw out the rest of the match by passing the ball among themselves as a show of solidarity towards Hopp.

Flick, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, apologised after the match for what they described as "ugly" and shameful protests and the former wants everyone to turn their attention to the DFB-Pokal quarter-final against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.

He told reporters: "We are here because we want to play football.

"The performance [against Hoffenheim] was spoiled by our own fans with actions that I don't approve of and it has to be tackled.

"Everyone has to pull together but I want to concentrate on sport again."

Asked if he thought that would be the end of protests against billionaire owners in the Bundesliga following accusations certain clubs are circumnavigating league rules on ownership, Flick replied: "No, but it's important the club continues to talk about this.

"If something happens we have to speak the same language in our reaction. We have to communicate that internally and there should not be two opinions on how that will look."

 

Bayern's weekend win and RB Leipzig's failure to beat Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday means Flick has transformed a previously underachieving side with the defending champions now sitting three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

And he is hoping for more of the same against a Schalke team beaten 3-0 at Cologne on Saturday.

He added: "The last two games showed the football we can play. That's the benchmark and of course you want to see that all the time as a coach.

"The team are making a big impression, both physically and in the way they play. It all adds up.

"It is obvious that we want to go to Berlin [for the final] in the DFB-Pokal, to be champions in the Bundesliga and to go as far as possible in the Champions League."

Bayern Munich will travel to Schalke in the quarter-finals of this season's DFB-Pokal.

The holders will head to Gelsenkirchen after they edged out Hoffenheim 4-3 in the previous round.

Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat Bayern in the 2018 final – will host Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen will meet Union Berlin at BayArena.

Fortuna Dusseldorf, who were 5-2 winners at Cologne in round three, were handed an away match against fourth-tier Saarbrucken.

The games will be played on March 3 and 4.

Hansi Flick reflected on a "very successful day" after Bayern Munich dismantled Schalke to capitalise on Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig's defeat earlier on Saturday.

Defending champions Bayern won 5-0 at home to move within a point of Leipzig, who were beaten 2-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Head coach Flick was delighted with the way his side disrupted Schalke, a side also on the fringes of the title picture in fifth place.

Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, Thiago Alcantara and Serge Gnabry were all on target.

"That was very good," Flick said. "Schalke were really impressive in the first game [of 2020] against Gladbach. But we play here at home and wanted to play our game, our philosophy.

"We wanted to disrupt the opponent early, put pressure on them early with a high intensity. We did this very well, especially in the first half.

"It was crucial that we got the three points. This must give us even more confidence. The quality in the squad is excellent, and if I can then lift them as I did here, I am very satisfied.

"It was, of course, a very successful day for us."

Muller, who scored his 100th goal at Allianz Arena, suggested Bayern were motivated by Leipzig's defeat.

"After the Leipzig result, we might have had a little more," he said. "Usually, there is only the 100 per cent - today there was maybe two or three per cent on top.

"Like against Dortmund [a 4-0 home win in November], we didn't want to give Schalke space. We are very happy with the game. We played well as a team."

Bayern Munich took advantage of RB Leipzig's slip up to move one point behind the Bundesliga leaders with a 5-0 demolition of Schalke.

Buoyed by Leipzig's defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt earlier on Saturday, Hansi Flick's side were dominant from the off at Allianz Arena, leading from the sixth minute when Robert Lewandowski lashed in his 21st league goal of the season.

Thomas Muller bookended a fine first-half display, with the terrific Leon Goretzka striking against his previous club with a sensational scissor-kick five minutes after the break.

Thiago Alcantara helped himself to a simple finish as the hosts ran riot, with a blunder from goalkeeper Markus Schubert – playing in place of the suspended Alexander Nubel, who will join Bayern at the end of the season – enabling Serge Gnabry to complete the scoring in the 89th minute.

Manuel Neuer's mistake handed Suat Serdar an early chance but his effort was tame and Schalke punished when Lewandowski thumped home after Schubert failed to deal with a cross into box.

Muller rightly had a goal disallowed for offside, before Schubert pulled off a fine save from Goretzka's close-range header.

Former Schalke star Goretzka did brilliantly to tee up Lewandowski for what appeared to be Bayern's second, only for VAR to deem Benjamin Pavard had strayed offside.

Schalke's luck ran out in first-half stoppage time – Muller nudging in his 100th goal at the Allianz Arena after connecting with Goretzka's cushioned header.

Schubert brilliantly denied David Alaba and Thiago in quick succession, but Bayern had their third when Goretzka volleyed in his first Bundesliga goal of the campaign.

Schalke's misery was added to eight minutes later, Lewandowski toying with Omar Mascarell before laying it on a plate for Thiago.

Bayern were not done there, however, and the hosts had their fifth when Schubert completely misjudged a curling effort from Gnabry and diverted it into his own net.

 

What does it mean? Pressure back on Leipzig

Julian Nagelsmann's side's 2-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt handed Bayern even more impetus and the Bundesliga champions are now in touching distance of leaders Leipzig.

It is turning out to be an enthralling title race, with Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund are also in the running.

Bayern host Leipzig on February 9 in what looks set to be a pivotal fixture.

Goretzka gives Schalke the blues

While Lewandowski has now scored in his past nine league appearances against Schalke, Goretzka was the fulcrum for Bayern. He teed up Muller before rounding off his performance with an exquisite finish.

Schalke's Bayern nightmare rumbles on

Schalke have now suffered 54 Bundesliga defeats to Bayern in 100 meetings, conceding 214 goals in the process, and are without a win against them in 19 matches.

What's next?

Bayern visit struggling Mainz in a week, while Schalke travel to the capital to face Hertha Berlin on Friday.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has already been impressed by Alvaro Odriozola, just two days after his arrival from Real Madrid.

The full-back joined the Bundesliga champions this week on loan until the end of the season, having made only five appearances in 2019-20 under Zinedine Zidane.

Flick will have Joshua Kimmich available for Saturday's game against Schalke after the Germany star returned from a ban, but Odriozola appears to be under consideration to make his debut despite having had relatively few training sessions with his new team-mates.

"I'll leave it open," Flick said on Friday. "He's making a very good impression, he's a good player. He's an attack-minded defender, he can introduce speed, he's very agile, his crosses are good.

"I'll decide at short notice. We have another option now, which makes us more flexible."

Regardless of whether Odriozola gets his debut at full-back, Flick is prepared to throw Kimmich straight back into action.

"Joshua Kimmich is a role model," he said. "He's 100 per cent motivated in every training session, he always gives it everything, he always wants to learn more and improve. I really like this trait. He'll play."

Flick, who says Lucas Hernandez is making "good progress" in his injury recovery and could be in contention to make the matchday squad, is eager not to become distracted by the form of Bayern's title rivals.

Bayern are four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, one ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and just two above Borussia Dortmund and Schalke heading into matchday 19.

"I was very impressed by Schalke's display against Gladbach, how they pressed, how well they built up their attacks and that they won deservedly. It'll be a very tough match," he said.

"We're aware of the situation. We must focus on ourselves, it's important to live up to our full potential. We mustn't look at our rivals. They're all fired up and see a chance of winning the championship title this year.

"We must make sure we perform well and live up to our full potential in every match. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."

Dortmund have strengthened this month with the signing of Erling Haaland, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Augsburg, while Juventus midfielder Emre Can has been linked with a move to Signal Iduna Park.

"I've known Emre Can for a long time. He is a top professional with an excellent career," said Flick. "He has the quality to play for every Bundesliga club. He'd be good for every team.

"Haaland's debut was obviously impressive. That tells you everything about him."

Newcastle United have completed the signing of ex-Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb on loan from Bundesliga side Schalke.

Bentaleb, 25, left Spurs in 2016 and quickly established himself as a regular in Germany.

However, the Algeria international has not featured for Schalke since April, having been dropped for alleged unprofessional behaviour. 

He has now signed for Newcastle on loan until the end of the season with an option to make the deal permanent, becoming Steve Bruce's first signing of the January transfer window.

"I'm very happy to come back to the Premier League, especially with a club such as Newcastle," Bentaleb told Newcastle's official website.

"The project really interested me. I wanted absolutely to come back to the Premier League. The coach had some trust in me and the club also – I saw that straight away – and I think it's the perfect move for me."

Bentaleb made 97 appearances in total for Schalke across three and a half seasons with the club, scoring 19 goals.

Newcastle are also reportedly in talks with Inter for wide player Valentino Lazaro, while Bruce indicated Jetro Willems' season-ending knee injury may mean they look to bring in a left-back.

Jean-Clair Todibo has signed for Schalke on loan from Barcelona, with the Bundesliga club having the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

Barca signed centre-back Todibo from Toulouse in January 2019, but the Frenchman has played just four times in LaLiga.

He will now spend the rest of 2019-20 on loan at Schalke, who have paid Barca a €1.5million loan fee and will cover Todibo's wages for the remainder of the campaign.

Schalke will also be able to make the deal permanent should Todibo impress, with Barca confirming a fee of €25m – plus €5m add-ons – has been agreed. 

Should Schalke decide to sign Todibo, Barca – who on Monday replaced head coach Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien – have included a buy-back clause of €50m, plus €10m in variables.

"We said during the training camp in Spain that we would only be active in the market if something opened up that would help us," Schalke coach David Wagner said.

"That's definitely the case for Jean-Clair, who is one of the best young central defenders in Europe. Since Benjamin Stambouli's recovery is taking a little longer than we had all hoped, it makes sense to bring in another central defender. He can also play in defensive midfield.

"We will all do our best to support him in the development of his clear potential. We’re looking forward to having him."

Todibo was also linked with Serie A side Milan, with negotiations reportedly collapsing due to Barca's insistence that a buy-back option was included.

Schalke sit fifth in the Bundesliga and face second-place Borussia Monchengladbach at home on Friday.

Oliver Kahn feels incoming Bayern Munich goalkeeper Alexander Nubel has taken a "very courageous step" by agreeing a move to Bavaria to challenge Manuel Neuer for the number one spot.

Last week Bayern confirmed Nubel, 23, would be joining the Bundesliga champions on a free in July upon the expiration of his contract with Schalke.

That was the very transfer Neuer made in 2011, though his presence as Bayern's number one and captain means Nubel may struggle for playing time initially.

Former Bayern keeper Kahn, who has returned to the club as a member of their executive board, had advised Nubel to remain at Schalke last April because he had not earned his stripes internationally.

"Back then I wasn't involved in decisions regarding transfers," Kahn told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Every player has to go his own way. He expressed that his way is to come to Bayern Munich; he wants to establish [himself] in a few years as the number one.

"But he wants to learn first from a great goalkeeper as Manuel Neuer is and to take this step you need to be very courageous. It's a very courageous step he decided to take here.

"At the moment we shouldn't think too much about it because we have to focus on the second part of the season, we want to show great performances and we need Manuel Neuer at his best, as we have seen in the first part of the season and recent years."

Neuer, 33, has a contract at Bayern until 2021 and he said Nubel's impending arrival would not affect discussions over a new deal.

A controversy over who occupies the spot between the posts for Bayern could therefore be forthcoming, with Kahn adamant his club made the right decision to acquire Nubel.

"I think we all know what a great talent Alexander Nubel represents, which qualities and abilities he has, so it was a smart and strategic decision to get him if Alexander Nubel is free," he added.

"To have such a great goalkeeper on board is a good sign. Alexander Nubel said he will put himself into the second row to start learning from Manuel Neuer, about whose qualities we don't have to talk about at all.

"He is world number one goalkeeper for many years and well-deserved number one of FC Bayern Munich. He secured lots of titles for FC Bayern Munich.

"For someone like me, who comes to this club after a break, I can speak freely and can discuss and give out my thoughts.

"We will see how we will handle this situation. At the moment, the full focus should be put on the second part of the season."

Whatever advice Kahn chips in with, it is likely to be delivered in a more measured tone than the one he delivered during his 14 years as a Bayern player.

"I think emotions are important - emotions on the pitch for me were an important part and as I saw others on the stands, they are also very emotional," said Kahn, who is due to replace Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as club chairman at the end of 2021.

"I have seen a lot of other things, many business-related things and there you don't see that many emotions and it doesn't help very much.

"Many might wonder, not seeing me so emotional any more. The emotion that I showed back on the pitch, it helped me, but you won't see me doing the same things with the board of directors."

David Wagner has confirmed Alexander Nubel will no longer be Schalke's captain after the goalkeeper agreed to join Bayern Munich.

Nubel - touted as a possible long-term successor to Manuel Neuer - will move to the Bundesliga champions at the end of the season on a free transfer.

The 23-year-old has signed a five-year deal with Bayern, which starts on July 1, having last month informed Schalke he would not be renewing his contract amid links to numerous sides, including Tottenham.

Schalke coach Wagner has now confirmed Nubel, who will be suspended when the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break due to a red card he received for an ugly challenge on Eintracht Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic in December, will hand the armband to midfielder Omar Mascarell.

"We have mutually agreed that Alex will step down from his role as captain," Wagner said in quotes reported on Schalke's official Twitter page.

"We looked at all the pros and cons and decided that it's better for the team if he gives up the armband. This way we avoid constant unrest.

"In the coming months, there are bigger things to think about than this. It cannot be that one player is put under the spotlight. Alex remains an important member of the group. We need to continue to completely support every player."

Wagner also confirmed the club do not plan to bring in a new goalkeeper to replace Nubel, with Ralf Fahrmann - who is currently on loan at Norwich City - and Germany under-21 international Markus Schubert considered as suitable options for next season.

"In Schubi and Ralf Fährmann, we have two great goalkeepers for next season. We needn't worry about this position," Wagner said.

Jochen Schneider, Schalke's head of sport, added: "We tried everything to convince Alex to stay. Unfortunately it didn't work out."

Nubel was appointed as Schalke's captain in August, replacing Fahrmann, after making 18 Bundesliga appearances in 2018-19.

Page 1 of 3
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.