Bayern Munich have signed a precontract agreement with Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nubel, who will move to the Bundesliga champions on a free transfer on July 1.
Nubel, 23, had been linked with a number of top clubs, including Manchester United and Barcelona, after Schalke failed to tie him to a deal beyond the summer.
But Bayern Munich have won the race for the former Paderborn goalkeeper, who will now become the No. 2 to Germany captain Manuel Neuer, one of the defining shot stoppers of the last decade.
Neuer is contracted to the German champions until 2021, but Bayern hope he will sign a deal until 2023 in the near future.
ℹ️ Der #FCBayern verpflichtet Alexander Nübel zur Saison 2020/21.— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) January 4, 2020
Even before the announcement of Nubel's free transfer, however, his impending arrival caused issues at the Allianz Arena, according to German outlet Sport Bild.
They reported that Bayern's sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, asked Neuer to step aside for Nubel for a set number of games to give the new arrival game time.
But the 33-year-old reportedly rejected the request, leaving some uncertainty over his long-term future at Bayern.
Schalke announced Nubel would no longer captain the side following his decision to leave with Omar Mascarell taking the armband.
"We have mutually agreed that Alex will step down from his role as captain," Schalke coach David Wagner said.
"We looked at all the pros and cons and decided that it's better for the team if he gives up the armband. This way we avoid constant unrest."
In mid-December, Nubel was handed a four-match ban for a brutal kung-fu kick against Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic. The ban and the keeper's impending exit from Schalke could see him demoted to the bench for the rest of the season with the Royal Blues.