Newly-appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal wants Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to become his first major summer signing after pulling the plug on a deal to sign the 29-year-old’s teammate Toni Kroos last week.
According to The Sun, £32m-rated Schweinsteiger is one of the names on Van Gaal’s summer wish-list, while Arjen Robben is another Bayern star interesting the veteran Dutch coach, who will lead the Netherlands national team at next month’s World Cup finals in Brazil before taking the reins at Old Trafford.
Schweinsteiger has been a key player at the Allianz Arena for the last decade and is widely regarded as one of the club’s most influential players. However, there’s a belief at United that Bayern boss Pep Guardiola is prepared to axe some of his star names after such a disappointing showing in the Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid, who hammered the Bundesliga champions 4-0 in Munich last month.
Last week, Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Graham Hunter revealed that Guardiola prefers Kroos to Schweinsteiger, who the former Barcelona head coach feels does not circulate possession quick enough. But Van Gaal has the opposite opinion: the 62-year-old is of the opinion that, for his system, the classy Schweinsteiger would be the ideal signing.
Germany international Schweinsteiger, capped 101 times by his national team, won’t come cheap however. Although he currently earns £135,000-a-week at Bayern, he would demand at least £175,000-a-week to become the Red Devils’ star summer signing.
Van Gaal, though, is likely to sanction such a deal in order to close the gap on the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City next season.