Bayern Munich hope Schweinsteiger stays

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The Independent Football

Bayern Munich remain hopeful that star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will turn down the chance to leave the club and sign a new long-term contract.

The 26-year-old Germany international’s current deal runs out at the end of next season and the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly showing an interest.

However, sporting director Christian Nerlinger told the club's official website: “In regard to Bastian, the most important thing for us is that a new contract is signed.

“He has told us that we are his first option. We are not in talks just yet, we are not going to put him under any pressure.”

Meanwhile, former Bayern ace Michael Ballack, now back in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, has suggested that Schweinsteiger may benefit from a move abroad.

He told Kicker: “He has taken on the responsibility placed in him and is now in a phase when he is looking to reach the zenith of his career.

“Only he will be able to feel what is right for him for the future.

“Of course every footballer is attracted to certain things and Bastian will feel these also, but there are not that many big clubs around and Bayern is one of them.

“On the other hand, Real Madrid or Manchester United are both attractive and he would fit in well at both clubs.”

Bayern's honorary president, Franz Beckenbauer, believes the enforced absences of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are to blame for the club's poor start to the campaign.

Both players are currently injured and Bayern already find themselves ninth in the Bundesliga standinds after 11 rounds of matches, 12 points adrift of in-form leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Former Germany international legend Beckenbauer, said: "Without Ribery and Robben, I would say that we are not average because it is still a good team, but it is not an excellent one."