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Barca line up German goalkeeper as Valdes replacement
Author: George Pitts Published : 14 Feb 2013 11:08:49
Recent reports in Spain suggest Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign young German prospect Marc-André ter Stegen.
The goalkeeper is in his third season with the first team at Borussia Monchengladbach, at just the age of 20.
Spanish television channel Marca TV believes a deal has been agreed for the keeper to the Catalan club in the summer.
Reports have been rife with potential goalkeeping targets for Barca as Victor Valdes confirmed he intends to leave the club, once his contract runs out in 2014, after an 11 year stint in the first team. It appears the 31-year old fancies a new challenge after racking up nearly 400 appearances for the first team, following a rise in the Nou Camp ranks with Barcelona’s second and third teams.
Whilst Valdes has been an ever present in the Barca team, he only has 11 international caps for Spain due to Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina’s dominance in the position.
Who is Marc-Andre ter Stegen?
Ex-Monchengladbach goalkeeper Jorg Stiel recently told German website Spox how he believes ter Stegen is better, and has more quality, than current German number one Manuel Neuer.
"It's quite clear - in the not-too-distant future, he will be Germany's No.1.” The former Switzerland keeper said.
He thinks the player is ready to play for a club "Of course I trust him to be ready. Whoever masters the Bundesliga is ready for any challenge.”
Ter Stegen rose from his hometown club’s academy and played a big part in the club finishing fourth in last year’s Bundesliga.
Some have likened the German to be ‘the next Oliver Kahn,’ due to similarities in goalkeeping styles such as organising their defence and dominating the box.
A 78 percent save success rate in last season’s Bundesliga was better than Neuer’s rate, and any other of the league’s keepers.
At the age of 20, there is much room for improvement, but his current shot stopping ability and huge potential shows the signing by Barca is not just a gamble-they may just be signing Germany’s next number one.