Manchester United have potentially been given the green light to make a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, after Pep Guardiola explained that the player is free to decide on his own future.
The Daily Mirror report that although the former Barcelona boss is expecting to work with the World Cup winner during next term, Guardiola has given Schweinsteiger permission to choose whether he stays or moves on.
“Of course I am planning to work with Basti next season,” he said.
“But he must decide what he does alone. I’ve told him: ‘The future depends on you’.
“Basti has managed a great career – but he has to decide,” he insisted.
According to the Mirror, Louis van Gaal is keen on signing the 30-year-old this summer, having worked with the player previously when he was Bayern coach. The same report suggests that a deal could cost the Red Devils around £15m.
However, the Mirror also claim that Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is similarly attracting attention from the Old Trafford hierarchy, and a bid of £25m may be lodged. Given that both would play a similar role in the side, the potential fees involved and the competition already at the club, it seems highly unlikely that both will be signed.
But the Mirror report that United’s negotiations with the south coast club are at a stalemate currently, with Ronald Koeman wanting £30m for the France international. Should the two parties fail to reach an agreement, van Gaal may decide to ramp up attempts to sign Schweinsteiger.
While it is the Southampton man that has age on his side – being five years younger than the Bayern stalwart – he has yet to play for an elite club, and thus has little experience battling in huge fixtures.
Schweinsteiger meanwhile has won practically everything at the Allianz Arena, so would be the ideal leader to help United elevate themselves from scraping a place in the Premier League’s top four – like they did last season – to the title contenders they feel they should be.
Only time will decide which midfield recruit United prioritise.
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