Bastian Schweinsteiger signs with Chicago Fire from Manchester United
Frozen out by the Red Devils, Bastian Schweinsteiger has turned to the Men in Red. The German midfielder has departed Manchester United to sign with the Chicago Fire, the MLS club confirmed Monday. Schweinsteiger is expected to link up with his Veljko Paunovic’s side next week after signing a designated player contract that guarantees him …
Frozen out by the Red Devils, Bastian Schweinsteiger has turned to the Men in Red.
The German midfielder has departed Manchester United to sign with the Chicago Fire, the MLS club confirmed Monday. Schweinsteiger is expected to link up with his Veljko Paunovic’s side next week after signing a designated player contract that guarantees him $4.5 million in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great,” Schweinsteiger said in a statement released to the Tribune. “My move to Chicago Fire is no different. Through my conversations with [general manager Nelson Rodriguez] and Pauno, I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.”
Schweinsteiger has been scarcely used under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford this season, logging just 11 matches in all competitions and not making any Premier League appearances. He most recently saw the field in a Europa League match against Saint-Etienne on Feb. 22.
Before joining United in July 2015, Schweinsteiger had spent his entire career with Bayern Munich since debuting for the first team in 2002. His trophy-laden spell with the club included eight Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League crown.
Schweinsteiger retired from international duty last summer, making his final appearance in a friendly against Finland on Aug. 31 after playing five matches at Euro 2016. The deep-lying playmaker finished his international career with 24 goals in 121 caps, including six appearances as Germany won the 2014 World Cup.
“In the locker room, he will be a huge example of a champion,” Paunovic said. “He still is somebody that can show that on the field and [demonstrate] how our guys have to work, prepare, behave, think and work together in order to get to that level.”
The 32-year-old joins a revamped Fire team that already has bolstered its roster with U.S. international Dax McCarty, former LA Galaxy standout Juninho and Hungary international Nemanja Nikolic since finishing last in MLS last season.
Schweinsteiger’s signing comes four months after he was spotted sharing lunch with Paunovic in Manchester, with the Fire coach now revealing they spoke for hours about a potential move.
“The conversation was so spontaneous, so natural and so inspiring for both sides,” Paunovic said. “At one point it became a very personal conversation. I think that also helped for both sides to understand how we can help each other and how much value we can get from this for both sides.”