Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed his intention to keep Bastian Schweinsteiger at the Allianz Arena next season, which is sure to disappoint Manchester United fans that were hopeful of signing the midfielder this summer.
The Spanish tactician told the gathered media at Friday's pre-match press conference he has absolutely no plans to cash in on the Germany international because he remains a very important part of the Bundesliga champions' team.
Recent speculation had suggested the 30-year-old could be about to quit the Bavarian giants at the end of the season. However, Guardiola has rubbished such suggestions by emphatically denying any plans to sell Schweinsteiger.
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"My plan for the next season is: Bastian Schweinsteiger is here," he was quoted saying by Goal.com on Friday afternoon.
"Schweinsteiger is an outstanding legend of Bayern Munich, he has to decide - not Pep, not [CEO] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. If he wants to stay for three or four more years here, he can do that."
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Guardiola's quotes will be met with dissatisfaction from Red Devils supporters that had bought into rumours that originate from German publication Kicker magazine. But, it looks as though Louis van Gaal has little chance of luring Schweinsteiger to Old Trafford.
It's a shame because the 2014 World Cup winner would've been a perfect acquisition for Manchester United this summer, and would've complimented the anticipated arrival of compatriot Mats Hummels at the Theatre of Dreams very nicely.
The veteran Dutch coach's search for midfield reinforcements is going to have to be taken elsewhere though it seems, with the likelihood of Schweinsteiger pursuing a shock departure from his boyhood club looking very unlikely.
The one-club hero has established a cult status amongst Bayern Munich supporters, and the last thing he'll want to do is ruin his reputation amongst the followers that have backed him for the entirety of his professional career.
A more realistic transfer target for Manchester United to consider would be fellow German international Ilkay Gundogan as it's already been confirmed he'll leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Van Gaal has been mooted as an admirer of the Turkish-born star as well, but the general consensus is that he'll struggle to lure both Gundogan and Hummels from Signal Iduna Park, and that the Dortmund captain is a higher priority.
Manchester United fans: Who do you think Louis van Gaal should prioritise signing - Mats Hummels or Ilkay Gundogan? Have your say in the comment box below...
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