Bastian Schweinsteiger's Manchester United contract may run until 2018 but, after months in exile under Jose Mourinho, the German midfielder's time at Old Trafford is all but certain to end in January.
After confirming when he joined United that they would be his last club in Europe, the talk has long been that Schweinsteiger would move to Major League Soccer. Speculation only increased when he was spotted meeting with Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic two weeks ago.
And, according to reports from Goal USA at least, things seem to have progressed with details now having emerged about what the Chicago franchise plan to offer the 32-year-old.
One of the main criticisms of Schweinsteiger's time at United has been the huge wages - reportedly £200,000-per-week - he is bringing in despite a disappointing debut campaign and the fact he is nowhere near the first team this season.
But the days of the World Cup winner picking up such a huge annual salary may be a thing of the past if he does opt to leave Old Trafford at the turn of the year.
That's after Goal USA reported this week that, per sources with knowledge of the situation, Chicago Fire's offer to Schweinsteiger is $5.5 million per year for three years.
The figure would still make the German one of the highest paid players ever to ply his trade in the U.S. league. However, it would also be a significant drop in his earnings considering he is currently bringing in over £13 million-per-year.
With MLS enforcing a salary cap on its franchises, Schweinsteiger was never going to be able to command the same wages from an MLS side.
Still, the reported $5.5 million offer does perhaps reflect his struggle for playing time, and form, in recent times.
It is a full $1.7 million less than MLS' highest earner, Kaka and, this season, would have seen him ranked as the league's eighth best paid player behind the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Bradley.
While some United fans would love to see Mourinho give Schweinsteiger a chance in the Red Devils first-team rather than send him packing, that looks incredibly unlikely right now.
With no other club outside of MLS likely to offer anything better than the wages on the table from Chicago Fire, it might well be the best option available to the former Germany captain as he looks to extend his playing career.
At this stage, though, he is said to be still evaluating his options.
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