Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has called time on his unhappy spell at the club.
After months of speculation linking the 32-year-old with the MLS, the Chicago Tribune (backed up by Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol) have reported that Schweinsteiger has completed his move to Chicago Fire.
Bastian Schweinsteiger moving to Chicago Fire from Manchester United. Will become one of best paid players in MLS on £70,000 a week
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) March 21, 2017
The 2014 World Cup winner has apparently signed a one-year deal with the US side as a designated player, and will earn $4.5m in that time.
The above report also claims that Schweinsteiger could join Fire as early as next week, pending a visa and a medical. Indeed the Tribune has also carried quotes from the player himself, who has expressed his excitement at the transfer:
“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great.
“My move to Chicago Fire is no different. Through my conversations with Nelson and Pauno, I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.”
General manager Nelson Rodriguez has also been discussing the move, saying:
“We’re adding someone who has won at every level, including the very highest levels, and has done so in a way that is consistent with our values.
“We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, an accountability level. Previously, I think we could satisfy ourselves with what is known domestically. Now we need to rise to a standard that is set more internationally.”
The deal brings an end to Schweinsteiger’s (mostly unhappy) 21-month stint at Old Trafford. Signed by Louis van Gaal to much fanfare in 2014, the former Bayern player struggled badly with form and fitness in his first season at the club. He was banished to the reserves by José Mourinho upon the new manager’s arrival and although he was able to claw his way back into the first-team picture, several substitute appearances were the best he could manage.
He leaves Man United having made 35 appearances for the club, scoring twice.