Schalke goalkeeper Nuebel to join Bayern

Klaus Bergmann
Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel will join rivals Bayern Munich on a free transfer next season

Bayern Munich have agreed to sign Schalke keeper Alexander Nuebel on a five-year contract from next season.

The 23-year-old keeper will officially join the German Bundesliga champions on July 1 on a free transfer.

"The club and Nuebel have agreed the terms of a transfer in the last few days," Bayern said in a statement on Saturday.

Nuebel is seen as a long-term successor to captain Manuel Neuer, whose current contract runs until the end of next season, with talks of an extension until 2023.

Neuer also joined Bayern from Schalke, arriving at the record German champions in 2011.

Schalke were unwilling to lose Nuebel, an Under-21 Germany international, who was made club captain this season by coach David Wagner.

However, following news of the move, Schalke removed the captaincy from Nuebel.

"We agreed together that Alex would give up his captaincy," Wagner said after a first session at Schalke's training camp in Fuente Alamo, Spain.

"We put all the pros and cons on the table and decided that it would be best for the team if he left the post because it would always lead to unrest."

Midfielder Omar Mascarell will take over as Schalke captain.

Nuebel joins a number of key players who have left Schalke on free transfers, including Leon Goretzka, who also went to Bayern, Max Meyer (Crystal Palace) and Joel Matip (Liverpool).

The keeper is currently serving a four-game ban for a kung-fu-style kick on Eintracht Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic, and as a result will miss fifth-placed Schalke's visit to Bayern in the league on January 25, as well as the match a week earlier against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Wagner will wait until the following match on January 31, against Hertha Berlin, before deciding whether Nuebel returns or No.2 Markus Schubert remains in goal.