Schalke won't let Neuer leave easily

BERLIN - Schalke 04 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's much-expected move to Bayern Munich was still up in the air on Monday with his club saying they were hoping to hang on to their talisman.

The 25-year-old Germany goalkeeper, who has been at Schalke since the age of five, had said he would not extend his contract beyond 2012, meaning he would most likely leave in the coming months so that debt-ridden Schalke could claim a multi-million euro transfer fee.

Following their German Cup win on Saturday, Neuer himself hinted his move was all but a done deal, saying he did not know "when it will be announced."

Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies, however, said on Monday there was still a chance the Schalke captain could stay at the Ruhr valley club, who reached the Champions League semi-finals this season.

"I will not let him go that easily," Tonnies told Bild newspaper on Monday.

The Schalke boss was seen having a one-on-one talk with Neuer during their German Cup celebrations on Saturday following their 5-0 win over Duisburg that secured their first silverware since 2002 and Neuer's first title.

"He is like a son to me. I am completely against this transfer. I want to snatch him away from Bayern's jaws," said Tonnies.

Neuer's potential move to Bayern has sparked anger among fans at both clubs with some Schalke supporters disappointed at their emblematic captain's decision to leave and Bavarian fans opposing the move because of Neuer's long-time Schalke past.

On Sunday Neuer was slapped in the face by an unknown man while celebrating his team's cup win in a convertible car through the streets of Gelsenkirchen.