Another day, another Bayern Munich player linked to Manchester United: if it feels like a vicious circle is probably because it is. After Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, now it’s Bastian Schweinsteiger turn to be linked with a move to Old Trafford and while the German has been on United’s radar for a while, Louis Van Gaal could be about to get serious and submit a bid for the Bayern midfielder.
Having miss out on Mueller, who yesterday signed a new deal with the Bavarian giants after having been told he’s pivotal to Pep Guardiola’s plan, and with Kroos likely to either remain in Bavaria or end up elsewhere, according to reports United are allegedly ready to bid in the region of £23m for Schweinsteiger.
The story appeared on some German newspapers and was picked up in Britain by the Daily Express, hardly a good omen in itself, and highlights how desperate United are becoming for the second consecutive summer, as they seem intent to pursue every single Bayern Munich midfielder, a strategy resembling the fiasco that surrounded the bids for Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas last season.
Schweinsteiger is, of course, an excellent player, one who would add steel, vision and goals to United’s moribund midfield but, at 29 years of age, he might not be the sort of young thoroughbred Van Gaal likes to mould his sides around. On the other hand, despite a few injury problems, the German international completed the domestic double with Bayern this season, making it two Bundesliga titles on the trot while scoring eight goals and assisting a further five in 36 games in all competitions.
Van Gaal has coached Schweinsteiger at Bayern and the Dutchman was responsible for converting the 29-year-old from a promising but inconsistent to one of the best midfielders in the world and were the German to arrive to Old Traffod, he’d walk straight into the starting XI – in fairness that’s hardly a ringing endorsement, giving the paucity of options United have in midfield.
However, while injuries somewhat restricted Schweinsteiger’s appearances last season, the German, an incredibly popular figure among Bayern fans, remains a pivotal figure for his club and it’s hard to fathom Pep Guardiola sanctioning his departure nor is it any easier to understand why Schweinsteiger would leave Bayern for a club that can’t even offer him Champions League football.
After all the summer transfer window isn’t called the silly season for nothing and United have remained tight-lipped on their transfer targets this season and Van Gaal might be well be keeping the papers guessing until the end of the World Cup but, having fallen catastrophically short 12 months ago, United can’t afford any more mistakes this summer.