United target swoop for Schweinsteiger
Louis van Gaal is ready to exploit Bastian Schweinsteiger's contract stand-off with Bayern Munich by offering the World Cup winner a summer opportunity to move to Manchester United.
Van Gaal, who retains an interest in Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, despite claims from the German club he will remain with them, wants to add at least one experienced midfielder to his squad ahead of next season because of the over-reliance on the form and fitness of Michael Carrick.
Talks have already taken place between intermediaries and United manager Van Gaal believes Schweinsteiger, who visited Manchester recently, can be lured due to the 30-year-old's refusal to commit to a new deal at Bayern.
"I am in no hurry to renew," Schweinsteiger said recently, when asked about his contractual situation at the Allianz Arena.
"It is not something that bothers me because I have a year left before it expires. The important thing is that my physical problems and injuries are resolved. The rest will follow."
United are continuing to monitor Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who left Old Trafford three years ago, but Van Gaal is keen to explore the possibility of signing Schweinsteiger after failing to strike a deal for the player last summer.
The Germany midfielder became a key figure at Bayern during Van Gaal's two seasons in charge of the club between 2009 and 2011.
Although Schweinsteiger has been hit by injury this season, he has returned to action in recent weeks to reclaim his place in Pep Guardiola's team.
But with United able to offer Schweinsteiger a longer and more lucrative contract than Bayern, as well as the opportunity of a new challenge in the Premier League, Van Gaal is confident his relationship with the player could prompt him to leave the Bundesliga.
United, meanwhile, have yet to concede defeat in their attempts to sign Hummels.
The German club's sporting director, Michael Zorc, insisted last night Dortmund were "planning ahead" with Hummels, who had claimed earlier this season he was ready to leave.
United have been given no indication, however, that Hummels will reject a move to England and the club will press on with their transfer plans once the league season ends at the weekend. Meanwhile, Stoke City have exercised their right to buy defender Philipp Wollscheid from Bayer Leverkusen after a successful loan deal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)