Joachim Low is confident Manuel Neuer will be fit to play for Germany as they bid to retain the World Cup and described him as “the best goalkeeper in the world.”
Low says “everything is going to plan at the moment” with Neuer expected to be back in training well ahead of next summer’s tournament in Russia.
“The plan is for him to be back in full training at some stage in February or March,” Low told B5 radio.
Low added that Germany are counting on their No. 1, saying: “We will give Manu every opportunity, he’s definitely still got time.
“He is the best goalkeeper in the world, our safety net and captain. We definitely need him and his aura.”
Neuer will not take part in Bayern’s winter training camp in Doha in January, with Jupp Heynckes recently emphasising that the German champions are reluctant to take any risks with their captain.
Low also said he talked to Sandro Wagner as he mulled over a move to Bayern and advised the striker to clarify with Jupp Heynckes “how are they planning to use him.”
He said of the new Bayern signing: “When he was fit in Hoffenheim he always made the starting XI, but at Bayern you know things will likely be a little different.
“But I did also tell him he will probably get enough opportunities. Bayern are in three competitions and will play a lot of games next year.”
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.