Not a week goes by these days without the English press claiming that another footballing superstar is set to move to the Barclays Premier League this summer. Already building on an enormous advantage in terms of TV money, the English league is set to rake in even more cash with the recently signed deal with Sky and BT, which starts in the 2016/17 season. Speculations over which player will be bought next are running rampant, and even "untouchables" like Lionel Messi get caught in the rumor mill.
So, what does that mean for arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, one Manuel Neuer, undisputed starter at FC Bayern and Germany's national team? It's no secret that the big clubs in England were interested back in 2011, but were rebuffed when Neuer made it clear that he was only interested in joining Bayern, and he's done nothing to diminish those desires. Has anything changed? In an interview with Münchner Merkur, the 29-year old elaborates why a move is unlikely, and how the Bundesliga players need to react.
"That doesn't interest me at all in the first place, because I like playing in the Bundesliga", when asked whether a move to England is a topic for him. "I know what type of teams play here, and how football is played here. I really like the style that my team plays."
When asked about how he deals with the huge amounts of money being bandied about in the BPL, he challenged his fellow players: "Now it's up to us players, to make the Bundesliga so attractive that it will be enhanced in the international comparison. I think the game against Dortmund was the best advertisement."
Two years ago, he had said that "Forever FC Bayern" sounded good to him. Was that still the case? "Of course. I will be 30 at the end of the month [March 27th], and I feel good in my surroundings. We have a great team, one of the best club setups, great co-workers."
Although England's money will pose a challenge, he sees the Bundesliga in a unique position compared to the other leagues, because "...we are very healthy [financially], and don't have the problems that many of the clubs in Spain and Italy have."
So, can we expect a contract extension any time soon? There's no urgency, as "I still have a long-term contract [through 2019]. Everything is fine. It all adds up."
Will Manuel Neuer finish his career at Bayern? You never know, but all signs indicate that this scenario is probable, with both player and club happy with the status quo in net, and Neuer not predisposed to search out greener pastures. Drawing parallels between endorsement contracts and clubs, he says "Sometimes there are more lucrative offers, but they just don't fit...That's the most important thing at your club, because you live there. You have to feel comfortable. Then you can perform better."