Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is poised to end his hugely successful Bayern Munich career after it was announced Saturday he will join Manchester United, subject to passing a medical.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said United have already agreed an undisclosed transfer fee, which German daily Bild report will be between 18 and 20 million euros ($20-22.31m, £12.9-14.3m), for the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who has made 536 appearances for Bayern since 2002.
Schweinsteiger informed the German champions on Friday that he wanted a change of scenery and is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Red Devils.
“Bastian and I had a serious conversation on Friday. He told me he has been thinking about his career and wants to try something new,” said Rummenigge.
“He asked me to find a way and things between Manchester United and Bayern Munich have been clarified, we have agreed on a fair transfer fee.
“We have taken into account that Bastian is a very deserving player.
“We tried to convince him to stay with Bayern Munich, but I completely understand that after 17 years with us, he wants to experience something new.
“His nickname (with Bayern supporters) is ‘football God’ and it doesn’t happen very often that the fans shoot so high with a figure whom they identify.
“But at some point, a career has to end and now we’re required to manage his transition.”
The British media report Schweinsteiger will receive £140,000 per week in Manchester, £7.2m per season, which matches the 10 million euros he was receiving in Munich.
United confirmed the arrival of what is the first ever German player to join the club in a statement on their official website.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Bayern Munich to sign midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, subject to a medical and personal terms,” the statement announced.
Rummenigge said Schweinsteiger had turned down the chance to take part in Saturday’s Bayern team presentation at the Allianz Arena to bid farewell.
The news was received with some boos and whistles from fans in the stadium, which grew quiet when Rummenigge told the 70,000-strong crowd: “it is what Basti wanted”.
– ‘Absolute leader and world-class player’ –
Rummenigge insisted there is no truth to reports Schweinsteiger is leaving Bayern because of problems with coach Pep Guardiola: “I would like to refer to that in the realm of fairytales,” he said drily.
“You can forget any idea that he fled from the coach, he will leave here on the best of terms.”
The Bayern chairman also said no other Bayern player will join United this summer, ending speculation Germany star Thomas Mueller may follow.
Germany coach Joachim Loew gave his blessing to Schweinsteiger’s transfer.
“‘Basti’ is an absolute leader and world-class player, who can make his mark on any team and obviously Manchester United,” said Loew.
“He knows Louis van Gaal, who really wanted to have him, and that is a good position to be in.
“I am convinced that the new stimulus in the Premier League will do him good.
“I know he is a player who still has a lot of goals and ambitions and he’ll face the new challenge in England with dedication and high motivation.
“I expect the move will give him a further boost in terms of the European championships in France, where we will be relying on him to lead the team.
“For FC Bayern and the Bundesliga, his departure is unquestionably a loss.”
Schweinsteiger comes to Old Trafford with a vast wealth of experience having helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup and has lifted the German league title eight times with Bayern and the German Cup on seven occasions.
He was part of the Bayern team which won the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles under Jupp Heynckes and went on to win the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup at the end of the year.
Schweinsteiger has won 111 caps for Germany, playing in three World Cup finals, and he succeeded Philipp Lahm as captain of the world champions after their Brazil 2014 triumph. – Agence France-Presse