Bastian Schweinsteiger to sign for Manchester United: Louis van Gaal gets his midfield rock

The deal is set to be completed this week

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The Independent Online

Manchester United expect to conclude the £15m signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich this week, with Louis van Gaal convinced the midfielder will confound those who doubt his hunger, at 30, to build a Premier League career.

Van Gaal has pursued the midfielder for the past two summers and secured his services with the offer of personal terms which could see him earn £135,000 a week once agreement is reached. The deal means United’s hopes of signing striker Thomas Müller are all-but extinguished. Bayern would not sell a rival two of their assets.

Bayern rarely sanction a move such as this for one of their players – who will become the first German to play for United. Their willingness to let him go is thought to be pay-back for Schweinsteiger’s professionalism and all-round contribution. He has made 536 appearances for Bayern since his debut in 2002.

He will resume a partnership with Van Gaal which began when the Dutchman managed Bayern from 2008 to 2011. It was Van Gaal who converted him from a winger into a defensive midfielder. Van Gaal was disappointed that the player would not go to Old Trafford last summer and his willingness to do so now comes after a season in which he started only 15 Bundesliga games for Bayern.

Van Gaal must hope that the player is not past his peak, as United seek to strengthen central midfield where they struggled when Michael Carrick was missing through injury for long periods of last season. The manager has assured the United board that Schweinsteiger still has the energy and resolve for a new challenge.

Bayern’s president Karl-Heinz Rummennige said: “Bastian wants to do something new at the end of his career. He asked that we meet his wishes. My colleagues at Manchester United have been in touch. We have reached an agreement over a transfer. It’s regrettable because Bastian meant a great deal to the club. He achieved great things.”

United are not now thought to be pursuing Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who was seen as the alternative to Schweinsteiger and considered  to be overvalued at £25m.  

Torino last night confirmed that Matteo Darmian has completed a £13m move to United. The Italian defender is expected to travel with Van Gaal’s squad on their pre-season tour of the United States, which begins tomorrow.

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