United chasing another Bayern midfielder

Martin Rose

This is starting to look a bit like an obsession. Next stop: Bastian Schweinsteiger!

Guys! There are other football clubs in the world! This Bavarian obsession is starting to look a bit weird.

On well. Reports in various newspapers — the Independent, the Times, the Daily Mail — all suggest that Manchester United are looking to pick up Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger. Both suggest that around £25m would be enough to sign the 29-year-old, who was converted from a winger by Louis van Gaal at Bayern Munich, and has gone on to win everything the domestic game has to offer, as well as over 100 caps for Germany.

Unlike the stories surrounding Toni Kroos, apparently coveted by Moyes but unwanted by the new man, and Thomas Muller, which always smelt like contract negotiations-plus-paper talk, there does at least seem to be some kind of active Van Gaal interest here. And apparently Schweinsteiger doesn't get on with Guardiola as well as he did with Jupp Heynckes, meaning he's "open" to the move. File under: not immediately and obviously ridiculous.

A good signing? Well, he's nearly thirty, so he would be very much one for the next couple of seasons. But the next couple of seasons are going to be exceptionally important, and he's really quite good; certainly several notches in class above anything that United currently have to offer in the middle. And he knows Van Gaal, which will be an advantage when it comes to integration.

There is also an interesting side-note in both the stories above. The papers claim that David Moyes was required to provide an extensive "cost-justification report" on any potential signings, and that attempts last summer to sign Porto's Fernando (soon moving to City) and Eliaquim Mangala (possibly doing likewise) foundered as a result. Van Gaal, by contrast, is being given no such requirements.

TBB isn't entirely sure how that version of events ties in with what actually happened last summer, unless Moyes did somehow find the time to provide reports to support every panicked bid that United lodged in the last couple of days of the window, but hey. That's their story.

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