Schalke's Alexander Nubel with Benjamin Stambouli. Photo: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

DUSSELDORF – Goalkeeper Alexander Nubel will not renew his contract and will leave Schalke after the season amid speculation he could move on to champions Bayern Munich.

Nubel, 23, made his Bundesliga debut in October 2018 and became first-choice keeper in January 2019. He was named team captain by new coach David Wagner in summer, and club officials had hoped he would stay on as one of the faces of a resurgent team.

Sports director Jochen Schneider expressed disappointment in a club statement Sunday.

"After all the talks we held with Alexander Nubel and his adviser over the past months we are not surprised about his decision and of course we respect it. But we we don't have to understand his decision," Scheider said.

"We made it clear to Alex that he would have had a key role in the future: as goalkeeper and captain leading a team with many young players which has won a lot of sympathy during the first half of the season."

Schneider also said he is convinced that Nubel will give his all for Schalke in the remaining matches before his departure. The western Germans are fifth heading into the winter break, after fighting relegation in the past campaign.

Nubel is yet to say where he will play in 2020-21. But there has been speculation for months that he could be the target of Munich although their Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who also came from Schalke nine years ago, is not thinking about retirement.

DPA