Bayern Munich announced Saturday morning the completion of a future free transfer for goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, whose Schalke contract expires this summer, leaving him free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement. He has signed a five-year contract with the Bavarian giants.
The 23-year-old joined Schalke as a teenager in 2015 from Paderborn and established himself as the starter in the second half of last season. His rise has been swift, now established as the Schalke captain while starting every match this season before a red card suspension for a wild tackle left him sidelined through late December.
Bayern has looked to get younger at the goalkeeper position and was heavily linked with Nubel the last few months. While Nubel may have to bide his time for future appearances on the field, he certainly looks capable of becoming a critical player down the road should he stick it out. Longtime starter Manuel Neuer is 33 years old, and while he has dealt with injuries and poor form over the last few years, looks to be at his best once again. Backup Sven Ulrich is 31 but has shown weaknesses at times when taking over for Neuer.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) January 4, 2020
There are reports, however, that Nubel may even see playing time sooner, potentially even next season as he could share time with Neuer, which did not please the incumbent, whose contract curiously expires in the summer of 2021. A timeshare could absolutely impact Neuer’s desire to extend beyond next summer, and will leave Bayern with a serious decision to make on when to make the change between the sticks.
Neuer is already under pressure with the German national team from Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and he will not wish to lose club playing time as it could seriously jeopardize his job with the national side as well.