Guardiola: Neuer one of best ever goalkeepers

The Spaniard has lauded his keeper, while revealing Mario Gotze could start against Hannover and Philipp Lahm could stay in midfield
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has branded Manuel Neuer one of the "best ever" goalkeepers.

The former Barcelona head coach joined the treble-winning Bavarians this summer and has started to form a core of players who look set to be key during his reign.

He has been extremely impressed with the quality of the Germany international shot-stopper in particular, while he also hinted that Philipp Lahm's move into midfield could become a permanent fixture, even once injured players return.

"Neuer is one of the best [goalkeepers] ever and one of the best in the world," Guardiola, 42, told reporters on Tuesday.

"Lahm plays unbelievable in midfield. He could play there even once everybody is fit."

Bayern face Hannover in the DFB-Pokal second round on Wednesday and, as well as revealing that Mario Gotze could return to the first team, Guardiola insisted that his side will approach the tie as a final despite being less glamorous than the Champions League or the Bundesliga.

"Gotze will make the squad," he added. "He just needs some time and has to develop."

"We are ready for this 'final'. In Germany, contrary to Spain, every match in this competition is a final. Bayern have been in the [real] final for the last two years and we want to go there again. I want to experience that feeling.

"The DFB-Pokal is a little less important than the Bundesliga and Champions League. But I expect the same hunger as against Schalke [in the league], CSKA Moscow [in the CL] or Chelsea [who they beat in the Uefa Super Cup]."