Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to end his association with Manchester United and join MSL side Chicago Fire, both clubs have confirmed.
By Carlo Chikomba
The midfield enforcer was brought to Old Trafford by the now departed Louis Van Gaal from Bayern Munich in July 2015. The German arrived with an enormous reputation having had a trophy-laden spell with the club from 2002 to 2015 included eight Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League crown.
However, he appears to have been a casualty of the post-LVG era as the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the summer saw the veteran relegated to the reserves team, a move which was widely condemned by many of his former teammates and pundits alike.
In spite of Mourinho’s efforts to try and push him out of Old Trafford, Bastian reiterated his desire to remain at United and in the end somehow managed to force his way back into the manager’s plans as he was recalled into the senior team.
He went on to feature in four matches in all competitions without making any Premier League appearance with his most recent outing coming in a Europa League match against Saint-Etienne on February 22.
The German midfielder is now destined to link up with the MLS side next week after having put pen to paper on a designated player contract that guarantees him $4.5 million in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great,” Schweinsteiger said in a statement released to the Tribune.
“My move to Chicago Fire is no different. Through my conversations with [general manager Nelson Rodriguez] and Pauno, I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.”
News of Schweinsteiger’s signing comes four months after he was spotted sharing lunch with Chicago Fire coach Vejilo Paunovic in Manchester, with the MLS gaffer now revealing they spoke for hours about a potential move.
“The conversation was so spontaneous, so natural and so inspiring for both sides,” he said. “At one point it became a very personal conversation. I think that also helped for both sides to understand how we can help each other and how much value we can get from this for both sides.”