Bastian Schweinsteiger has medical ahead of £15million switch to Manchester United
Bastian Schweinsteiger headed for his medical at Old Trafford on Sunday after Manchester United’s newest midfield recruit delivered an emotional, public farewell to Bayern Munich.
Schweinsteiger will complete the formalities of his £15 million transfer over the next 24 hours after ending his 17-year association with the German club, where he emerged through the youth ranks.
The Germany international, 30, wrote a goodbye letter to Bayern fans on social media in which he attempted to explain his decision to move to the Premier League.
“I hope you understand my decision,” Schweinsteiger said. “No one can take away the incredible journey we had together. The decision was very hard to make because you and Bayern have been, are and will always be an extremely important part of my life.
“After 17 incredible years at Bayern, 15 national titles, winning the historic treble and uncountable other highlights I was fortunate enough to experience, I have decided to take a new career step.”
The prospect of reuniting with Louis van Gaal, who managed Schweinsteiger in Munich between 2009 and 2011, appears to have been crucial in convincing him to make the move to England.
Philipp Lahm, Bayern’s captain, admitted his disappointment at losing such an influential team‑mate.
Bayern had little option but to sell the World Cup winner as he indicated that he would not renew his contract, which expires in 12 months. “It’s a pity that our paths are now dividing. We’ve been through so much together so it really is a shame,” Lahm said. “We have to simply respect and accept his decision. He’s looking for a new challenge, but for me it’s an absolute pity he is going, I have to say.”
United have also recruited the Torino defender Matteo Darmian.
However, the Old Trafford club still face a struggle to retain goalkeeper David de Gea. Real Madrid’s decision to allow their legendary No 1 Iker Casillas to move to Porto is sure to lead to intensified efforts to recruit the United goalkeeper.
United have been standing firm pushing for the right deal, particularly given their interest in Real’s centre-back Sergio Ramos. Ramos has joined Real’s pre-season tour of Australia, despite indications that he has told the Spanish club he would like to leave the club.
One player edging ever closer to an Old Trafford exit is Robin van Persie, who flew to Turkey on Sunday to finalise his transfer to Fenerbahce. The Dutchman was a greeted by hundreds of supporters clad in club colours. “I have seen a lot over the years but I have never seen anything like this,” the striker said.