Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has described Manuel Neuer as the “best goalkeeper the world has ever had”, and hopes he will extend his stay at the club beyond 2021.
Neuer joined Bayern from Schalke in 2011 and has since racked up 341 appearances for the Bundesliga giants across all competitions.
The 33-year-old has helped the team win 18 major trophies during that time, including seven league titles and the Champions League.
The veteran ‘keeper also played a key role during Germany’s run to World Cup glory in 2014, and has 92 caps under his belt at international level in total.
It has been suggested that Neuer’s place at Bayern could be threatened by new arrival Alexander Nubel – who joined the club on a free transfer from Schalke at the start of January.
Neuer only has 18 months remaining on his current deal at Allianz Arena, but Rummenigge doesn’t want to see a prized asset leave anytime soon.
“We know what we have in him,” the Bayern chief told TZ. “We do not need to have a discussion about [how good he is].
“But please understand that we have to have discussions with players and advisors first.”
Rummenigge also expressed his belief that Neuer ranks above Bayern legends Sepp Maier and Oliver Kahn in terms of his impact at the highest level, stating: “I have seen everyone: Sepp Maier, Oliver Kahn – and now Manu.
“I have the greatest respect for Sepp and Oli, they were absolutely world-class.
“But what Manuel did was another thing: he took the goalkeeper game to a new level. Manu is the best goalkeeper the world has ever had.”
The 64-year-old added on Nubel: “Honestly, we would be in the wrong game if we didn’t want to get a player who is considered the best youth goalkeeper who is free on the market.”
Bayern are due back in Bundesliga action at home to Schalke on Saturday – a game they must win to lessen the four-point gap between themselves and leaders Leipzig, who are scheduled to face fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.
The reigning champions will then look ahead to a meeting with Mainz at the Coface Arena on February 1, four days before they come up against Hoffenheim in the third round of the DFB Cup.