Manchester United goalkeeper target Manuel Neuer admits he’s flattered to have scouts from the club monitoring him, but insists a move to England is not currently on his agenda.
The German international is set to face the Red Devils tonight at Old Trafford in a Champions League semi-final second leg, eight days after producing a miraculous performance at the Veltins-Arena.
Goals from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney have given Sir Alex Ferguson’s side a 2-0 lead, but the United boss was joined by a host of pundits and former players in praising the Schalke skipper for his display.
However, the speculation hasn’t led to the 25-year-old losing focus, and he’s convinced an upset can be achieved against the odds.
“United scouts have come to Germany to watch me in the past and I'm absolutely flattered, but a move to England was not an option for me at this stage,” he told ESPN.
“Anyway, I want to forget about this transfer story for now as we have a big game at Old Trafford.
“The top end of the Champions League is all about making the most of your chances and in Europe we've succeeded in that mission.”
Neuer recognises that both Valencia and Inter Milan underestimated Schalke’s ability in the earlier rounds of the knock-out competition, and thinks it would be dangerous for Manchester United to do the same thing.
“I think Valencia and Inter underestimated us and naturally it will be to our advantage if Manchester United do the same. If they don't, we are capable of punishing them, that's for sure,” he continued.
“A Champions League semi-final means playing for high stakes and this means nerves can play a part. We have to be focused, keep a cool head and play with high energy.”
Finally, when questioned over the aspects of Manchester United he admirers most, Neuer was quick to point out their attacking threat, as well as the speed at which the club play.
“From the point of view of a goalkeeper, I'd have to concentrate on their ability up front. In Rooney, Hernandez and Berbatov they have one of the most explosive set of goal-takers in Europe. They are fantastic in their movement, awareness and technique,” he continued.
“The other feature I like about United is their work-rate and their ability to suddenly go from quick pace to supersonic.”