Berlin: Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger has said the Bavarian giants should do all they can to sign Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from Champions League semi finalists Schalke 04.
"If you can sign Manuel Neuer, who is not only the world's best, but Germany's goalkeeper too, you have to sign him," Schweinsteiger told German daily Die Welt.
"If there is the chance to strengthen the position, so that no other team is better, then you have to do it."
"I personally hope the club manage to sign him."
Neuer, 25, has already told the Royal Blues of Schalke he will not extend his contract which expires in 2012 and Bayern have made no secret of the fact they want to sign him for next season.
"We want to recruit Manuel Neuer this summer, we'll do everything we can to make it happen, because he is someone who can bring us a lot both as a goalkeeper and as a personality," Bayern's director of sport Christian Nerlinger told German television channel Sport1.
"But if it does not happen this summer, we will do everything possible to ensure that this happens in 2012."
"We had a first contact with Schalke 04 and it went well."
"The question we asked them was: do you think you can let him go this summer?"
"They replied in the affirmative, but I am approaching this matter with a cool head."
Despite suffering a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United last Tuesday in the Champions League and a 4-1 Bundesliga hammering in Munich on Saturday, Neuer has impressed with a series of outstanding displays.
He said on Saturday he wants to remain in Germany once he leaves Schalke - ruling out a move to Premier League giants Man Utd, where manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to sign him.
Having become Germany's first-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup, Bayern are reported to be ready to pay 20 million euros for Neuer and vice-captain Schweinsteiger says he is worth every cent.
Schweinsteiger knows Neuer from their time together in the national side and says the goalkeeper will be a good addition, despite some resistence from Bayern fans who do not want to sign him from arch-rivals Schalke.
Placards reading 'No Neuer!' were seen around Munich's Allianz Arena during Bayern's win on Saturday, but Schweinsteiger says they should be ignored.
"I believe there will always be fans who have this old-fashioned mentality," he said.
"I can say he is not only a fantastic goalkeeper, what distinguishes him more is his character."
"He is a quiet and calm person, but on the training pitch he is focused."
"His character fits well in every team and he reads the game like only a few others can."
"He is a very good footballer and can make things look really easy."
But Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says reports in the German media suggesting Neuer will be a Bayern player next season are wide of the mark.
"We are in talks with Schalke. I am not as optimistic as some media representatives," Rummenigge told German Sky television.
But Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick admitted it seems to be a case of when, not if, Neuer will join Bayern and he would like to keep the Germany star in Gelsenkirchen for another season.
"In a transfer three parties must agree and we will only give Manuel up when our expectations have been met," Rangnick told Die Welt.
"I'd personally prefer it if he stayed with us for another season."