Bastian Schweinsteiger to leave Manchester United for MLS team Chicago Fire

Bastian Schweinsteiger, 32, is set to arrive at MLS team Chicago Fire, reportedly on a one-year designated player contract

football Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:56 IST
Bastian Schweinsteiger,Manchester United,MLS
Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) celebrates with Anthony Martial Reuters after scoring in a Premier League match for Manchester United. (REUTERS)

Manchester United outcast and former Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will join the Chicago Fire of the Major League Soccer (MLS).

Bastian Schweinsteiger has signed a one-year designated player contract to play in the United States, having found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Old Trafford.

Signed by Louis van Gaal in 2015, Bastian Schweinsteiger was ostracized from the senior side by United manager Jose Mourinho, who arrived in the offseason, but the 32-year-old World Cup winner managed to force his way back into calculations, scoring one goal in four appearances.

Wigan Athletic's Sam Morsy sandwiched between Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during a FA Cup match. (REUTERS)

However, it was always a matter of time before veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger swapped the Premier League for MLS as the former Bayern Munich star now prepares to link up with Veljko Paunovic’s men following an initial meeting in November.

“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 Monday, via the Chicago 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.”

Paunovic, whose Fire have collected four points from their opening three games and are without a playoff appearance since 2012 after winning the MLS Cup in 1998, said: “In the locker room, he will be a huge example of a champion.

“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,” Paunovic added.

“We know it’s going to take some time and adjustment for him coming to the new league, new coaching staff and everything. We also know we can rely on his capacity to adapt and do that fast.”

First Published: Mar 21, 2017 10:39 IST