Nuebel linked to Bayern after rejecting new Schalke deal

Schalke 04 captain Alexander Nuebel, a former Germany Under-21 goalkeeper, will leave at the end of the season after turning down a contract extension, the Bundesliga club announced Sunday.

"Following discussions with Alexander Nuebel and his agent in recent months, we aren't surprised by his decision and of course respect it. However, we don't need to understand it," said sports director Jochen Schneider in a terse statement.

The 23-year-old is currently serving a four-match ban after being sent off for a karate-style kick on Eintracht Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic in last Sunday's 1-0 win.

Nuebel has yet to explain why he is leaving Schalke, but Germany's top-selling daily Bild reported Sunday that he has agreed terms with Bayern Munich.

There he would be groomed as replacement for club and national team captain Manuel Neuer, who himself left Schalke for Bayern in 2011.

After months of negotiations the news Nuebel is leaving the Gelsenkirchen-based club after nearly five years is frustrating for Schneider and head coach David Wagner.

The pair are trying to keep together the young squad which sits fifth in Germany, seven points behind leaders RB Leipzig, after Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Freiburg.

According to reports, the Royal Blues had been prepared to dig deep by offering an exit clause and increasing his annual salary from around 600,000 euros ($664,799) to five million euros.

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