DAMN & BAST
£200k-a-week Schweinsteiger’s refusal to move on leaves United with a painful £20m headache
BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER has left Manchester United with a £20million headache – after refusing to sign for another club in Europe.
United are struggling to offload the German, who has been exiled from the first team by boss Jose Mourinho, after ruling him out of his future plans.
Schweinsteiger has been ordered to train with the reserves while he tries to find another club, but there have been no takers.
With two years left on a £200,000-a-week contract, the midfielder is earning £10.4m a year and has proved an extremely costly flop for theReds, who are desperate to move him off their wage bill.
But with few clubs able or willing to match his huge wage demands, United have been unable to shift the 32-year-old, who has dug in his heels and refused to move elsewhere on the Continent.
Schweinsteiger, signed from Bayern Munich for £6m last summer, tweeted: “MUFC will be my last club in Europe.
“I respect other clubs. But Manchester United was the only one which could make me leave Bayern Munich.
“I will be ready, if the team needs me. This is all I can say about my current situation. I want to thank the fans for the amazing support over the last few weeks.”
His refusal to move to another club within UEFA and just sit tight could be a form of revenge for the ruthless way in which Mourinho has treated him since taking over at United in the summer.
By refusing to consider a switch close to home, the former Germany international has further undermined United’s chances of moving him on, with his potential options severely limited.
The transfer window in the US for the MLS closed on August 3, while the Chinese Premier League window – another potential destination – closed on July 15.
Louis van Gaal, who managed Schweinsteiger at Bayern Munich, signed him from the German club for £6m, but had to convince the United board of the deal because of the midfielder’s age and dodgy injury history.
With eight Bundesliga titles and a Champions League triumph to his name, as well as 120 caps for Germany, Schweinsteiger should be an attractive proposition for a host of clubs.
However, a persistent knee problem, which restricted him to just 13 Premier League starts in his debut season at United last term, has put off many suitors, along with the cost of taking him.
United maintain interest in Southampton defender Jose Fonte, but any deal is dependent on selling Marcos Rojo, who is also unwanted by Mourinho.
The United futures of Phil Jones – who is a target for Stoke – and fellow defender Matteo Darmian are also unclear.
But Mourinho seems determined to trim his squad by transfer deadline day.
HIGH COST OF A FLOP Manchester United are finding it difficult to get a taker for big earner Bastian Schweinsteiger