Bierhoff confident of Neuer return for World Cup

Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff is confident that Manuel Neuer will be fit to feature in Germany’s World Cup title defence in Russia.

Neuer, who is recovering from a broken foot, has been out of action for Germany and FC Bayern Munchen since September. The 32-year-old is reportedly set to return to full training next week, but faces a race against time to recover for the World Cup.

“I’m still confident and convinced that Manuel will be at the World Cup,” Bierhoff said, according to the Bundesliga’s website.

“In Manuel’s case, we’re taking it day by day… For him, as is the case with other injured players, it’s important that they find their rhythm and concentrate in peace so that they return to fitness.”

Joachim Low is set to name his provisional squad for the World Cup on 15 May, but Bierhoff has handed Neuer a welcome boost, suggesting that the goalkeeper does not have to be fit by then.

“The real deadline is 4 June, when we have to nominate the final 23-man squad,” he said.

Germany will kick off their campaign against Mexico on 17 June.