Highly-rated German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen bid an emotional farewell to Borussia Monchengladbach following what looks certain to be his final home appearance for the club he joined aged four.
Ter Stegen is widely tipped to be joining Barcelona in the summer to replace Victor Valdes who is on the verge of joining AS Monaco, having announced his intention to leave the Catalan giants for whom he has made over 500 appearances.
The Borussia stopper has long been linked with a move to the Nou Camp and the deal is already said to have been agreed although the move was thrown into jeopardy by Barcelona’s 14-month transfer ban that had been imposed on them by FIFA for breaking rules relating to signing international players under 18 which has since been overturned.
After Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Mainz, Ter Stegen told reporters: "I'm going to miss the stadium, the fans, the club, many people who are in the club, and of course my friends,"
"It was a very emotional game for me and I was delighted with the fans' support."
Despite his departure being public knowledge Ter Stegen still refused to be drawn on the identity of his new employers, insisting that next week’s fixture against Wolfsburg remains his priority with the club still in with an outside chance of Champions League qualification having aready guaranteed a Europa League place:
"I don't want to steal the limelight," Ter Stegen said.
"I could say where I'm going whenever I want, but I always said I wanted to focus on the situation with Borussia."
"It was important to me that Borussia will be playing in Europe next week, and now we've done that."
"We still have one important game to come,"
"We can do all the rest in our own time after the season's ended."
Ter Stegen, 22, has already forged an excellent reputation in Germany making more than 100 appearances for the Foals since breaking into the first team mid-way through the 2010-11 season.
He has also been capped three times so far for the German national side and despite conceding 12 times and failing to register a win in those three outings he looks set to see off competition from Hannover’s Ron Robert Zieler and Hamburg’s Rene Adler to make the final 23 for Joachim Low’s squad to Brazil for the World Cup albeit as third choice behind Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund.
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