DAMN & BAST

£200k-a-week Sch­we­in­steiger’s re­fusal to move on leaves United with a painful £20m headache

Daily Mirror - - BETTING SPY - BY DAVID McDON­NELL

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

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