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Paul Pogba and the four other potential Schweinsteiger replacements for Bayern Munich (1)

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For any Bayern Munich fan, whether this be casual followers, former managers or current players, the last few days have been as painful as either chewing on rusted nails, or watching your beloved girlfriend leaving you for the man of her dreams.

Indeed, Bayern captain, Philipp Lahm possibly best summarised the mood when he told reporters that he felt sick to the stomach when he was told by Bastian Schweinsteiger himself that he had decided against prolonging his career at a team he joined as a schoolboy in 1998, instead agreeing to join Manchester United.

Cult hero

Over the past 17 years Schweinsteiger has been able to cement himself as a club icon and a legend only matched by some of Munich's most notable sons.

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To say that "Basti", as he is comically known throughout Germany, is not adored more than weissbier and sausages in Munich, is perhaps one of the biggest understatements going, with the Germany captain epitomising the fall and resurgence of FC Hollywood.

Alongside the likes of Lahm, Mark van Bommel and Franck Ribery, Schweinsteiger dragged Bayern from the dark days of the mid 2000's when under the leadership of Felix Magath the Bavarian giants finished fourth in the league and were sent packing to the UEFA Cup.

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The resurgence

Indeed, his and Bayern's resurgence was speckled by odd spots of tarnish, including him missing the deciding spot-kick in the 2012 Champions League final in Munich against Chelsea.

However, perhaps if it wasn't for Schweinsteiger's daring and skilful play, coupled with his die-hard work ethic, then Bayern wouldn't have become one of the most successful football teams in Europe.

In this sense it was inevitable that his dynamic play and strong leadership would attract the attention of some of the world's other big clubs, with Louis van Gaal a manager who worked with Schweinsteiger at Bayern between 2009-2011.

Whilst Pep Guardiola could have said no by way of opting to re-sign the 30-year-old on a bigger and better deal, Schweinsteiger ultimately decided that after guiding Bayern to several trophies, including eight Bundesliga and seven DFB Pokal titles, that he wanted to say goodbye and embark on another adventure.

With the the Kobelmoor-born central midfielder now a United player after passing a medical and being pictured donning the famous all red jersey, and the dust finally settling, all eyes will now be focussed on what Guardiola does next.

Bayern's choices

Bayern are desperate to open their mouth and take another bite at the cherry, a cherry in the form of the treble which has been harder than initially expected to regain under the leadership of the former Barcelona manager.

In this instance, the 25-times Bundesliga champions must, having already signed Douglas Costa, Joshua Kimmich and Sven Ulreich, re-enter the transfer window in order to find a replacement for arguably their biggest cult-figure since Franz Bekenbauer and Gerd Mueller.

Here are five potential players who Guardiola should seriously consider giving a look at, if he is serious about making his potentially last season in charge of Bayern a successful one. Click the 'begin slideshow' button below to see the picks.

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Topics:
Bayern Munich
Bundesliga
Germany Football
Football
Bastian Schweinsteiger

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