Manchester United have been boosted by the news that transfer target Manuel Neuer has rejected a new deal at Schalke, reports skysports.com
The German is widely expected to leave the club with just 12-months remaining on his contract, with Bayern Munich the favourites to land the stopper.
But as well as Munich, United have been heavily linked with Neuer but either way Schalke are consigned to losing the 25-year-old.
"As much as it hurts us, we have accepted this development and we respect it," said the club's director of sport Horst Heldt.
"How things develop with Manuel Neuer will emerge in the coming weeks and maybe months, but we are now concentrating on our sporting challenges and the rest will follow in due course."
On the decision, Neuer said: "I have taken this decision without any external influence.
"The decision has nothing to do with the change of coach or any other person at another club.
United have been searching for a new keeper after Edwin van der Sar revealed he would be retiring at the end of the season.
As well as Neuer, international colleague Rene Adler, Frenchman Hugo Lloris and Liverpool's Pepe Reina have all been linked with United, but Spaniard David De Gea is the favourite to make the move to Old Trafford after reports suggested a bid had been accepted in the region of £20 million.