Manchester United manager José Mourinho has responded to criticism from Bayern Munich chief Karl Heinz Rummenigge and claimed he is “surprised” the German hadn’t come to Manchester to take (Bastian) Schweinsteiger back to Munich, following the latter’s criticism of the Champions League-winning manager earlier this month.
Rummenigge took aim at the Red Devils boss three weeks ago for showing “a lack of respect for a worthy player” and that “in the future, players will think twice before joining such clubs, who treat them more radically when they want to get rid of a player, than a club like Borussia Dortmund or Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga would do.”
The comments were made in relation to Mourinho’s decision to have Schweinsteiger train with the Manchester United U21 team instead of the club’s first team this season.
Schweinsteiger, who moved to United last summer after 17 years in Munich, has been on the outer fringes at Old Trafford ever since Mourinho took over as the club’s new manager in May, and although he was a favourite of former manager Louis van Gaal last season, the German World Cup winner has yet to play for United under Mourinho this term.
The 32-year-old midfielder looks set to stay on the sidelines in Manchester, and Mourinho has questioned why Rummenigge hasn’t returned to Manchester to bring Schweinsteiger back to Bayern.
“I thought after I read some quotes from people at Bayern Munich that they would run to Manchester to bring him (Schweinsteiger) back, but no, that did not happen,” Mourinho said, speaking to the press.
“I am quite surprised that Mr Rummenigge is not here now to take him back.
“He [Schweinsteiger] has a contract with Man United and has the right to make that decision to stay.
“That’s not a problem for us. Football is made of decisions. I did that all my career. Not just me, everyone does. Some players react in a different way and have other kind of decisions.
“Bastian is not speaking a lot. He gave this last statement, which he is completely free to do in an objective and polite way like he did. There are no problems at all.”
Schweinsteiger released a statement regarding his future on his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon, claiming that ‘United would be his last club in Europe.’
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) August 24, 2016
The tweet sparked rumours that the midfielder could be on his way to the MLS this season, with Atlanta United reportedly interested in luring the former German captain to Georgia.
Under MLS rules, an out-of-contract player can sign for MLS teams up until Sept 15, with Chicago Fire currently top of the “allocation order” among the established sides.
However, Schweinsteiger’s agent, Robert Schneider, indicated earlier this month that the player will remain with the club and bide his time.
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena
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