Manchester United could be close to sealing the signature of Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger after reports claim that the midfielder has stopped contract talks with his current club.
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According to L’Equipe, the Germany international has halted discussions over extending his future at the Allianz Arena after learning of the Red Devils’ interest. The report suggests that the 30-year-old will ask that Pep Guardiola accepts an offer from the Premier League giants for his signature, with Louis van Gaal said to be preparing an opening €25m (£17.8m) bid.
The former midfielder has been with the Bundesliga champions since the age of 13, but with his contract set to expire at the end of next season, reports indicate that he could be leaving his boyhood club in the coming months.
Schweinsteiger, however, has been urged by Bavarians legend Franz Beckenbauer to reject a move to England, believing that such a ‘challenge’ is unnecessary during the latter stages of the 30-year-old’s career.
“I would advise him not to go to England. He can stay here as well. This challenge, at his age, it’s not what he needs,” Beckenbauer was quoted by the Daily Star as saying.
“I would play one or two more years in Munich, at this high level.
“And then, if he still wants to, and if he still feels like playing football is the thing, he can make a step back and maybe go to the USA.”
The World Cup winner missed a total of 18 games through injury at the start of last season, but was a regular on Guardiola’s team-sheet upon his return to full fitness – making 15 starts and five substitute appearances in the Bundesliga.
Nonetheless, despite his undoubted ability, question marks must be raised over van Gaal’s decision to target a player who is already 30 – particularly in arguably Europe’s most physically demanding top flight.
Perhaps, as with the possible signing of Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos [via the Daily Mail], this may be a deal desired more for publicity purposes than for the long-term future of the Dutchman’s squad.