Highly-rated goalkeeper Alexander Nübel will leave Schalke on a free transfer at the end of the season, as Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider has confirmed he will not be renewing his contract.


The 23-year-old has been a central part of a strong start to the season for Schalke, captaining them for the first 15 games until he saw red against Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this month. 

Alexander Nuebel,Felix Zwayer

He has missed Schalke's last two matches with suspension, but remains one of German football's most exciting prospects, having played a key role in one of the Bundesliga's leading defences.


He has been ​linked with Bayern Munich as a potential replacement for ​Manuel Neuer, and the German champions will now be encouraged as Schneider announced in a ​club statement on Monday that Nübel will depart in the summer.


He remains optimistic, however, that he will give his all for the remainder of the season. 


​"Following all the discussions that we have had with Alexander Nübel and his agent in recent months," he said. "We aren't surprised by his decision and of course respect it.


"However, we don't need to understand his decision. In recent months, we have clearly shown through words and actions how much of a central role he could have played with us in the future.


"His role entails leading a very young team, which has already won over many admirers in the first half of the season, as goalkeeper and as captain. I'm convinced that Alex will give everything for the club until the end of the season. From summer 2020, we will continue on our path without him."

Alexander Nuebel

Nübel has made a total of 41 appearances for Schalke since joining from Paderborn in 2015 and progressing rapidly through the academy ranks. He has kept 14 clean sheets in that time and quickly established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the country.


He is widely considered to be Germany's long-term number one beyond Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with his leadership qualities and command of his area impressing many in his short time as a senior player. 


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!