Man United still a magnet: Rooney

Bastian Schweinsteiger (right), with manager Louis van Gaal, brings plenty of experience to Manchester United from his years as a stalwart with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and World Cup holders Germany. But van Gaal has told his new signings t
Bastian Schweinsteiger (right), with manager Louis van Gaal, brings plenty of experience to Manchester United from his years as a stalwart with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and World Cup holders Germany. But van Gaal has told his new signings that they must fight for starting positions.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEATTLE • Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes that Bastian Schweinsteiger's decision to leave Bayern Munich for Old Trafford is proof of the club's continuing allure to the best players and reckons that the World Cup winner's experience will be a valuable asset to Louis van Gaal's side.

The 30-year-old completed his £14.4 million (S$31 million) move over the weekend and joined his new team-mates in travelling to Seattle for the club's pre-season tour to the United States.

United's three other new signings, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay - who revealed that he had turned down Bayern to sign for the Red Devils - are also on the trip.

And Rooney believes that the time away will be vital in helping to familiarise themselves with the squad as they try to fit into their new surroundings.

"Bastian is a very experienced player who has won everything in the game," Rooney said of the eight-time Bundesliga champion as well as Champions League and Fifa Club World Cup winner.

"It's great he has chosen to join us and left a team like Bayern Munich to come here," he added in an interview with MUTV.

"It's great to see Bastian, Morgan, Matteo and Memphis all come in and give the squad a boost."

Reputations, however, count for little in the mind of van Gaal and the Dutchman has warned that the new players would have to fight for their places at United - just as British record signing Angel di Maria was also not assured of a starting spot last season.

"I have to say to the players, you have to fight for your position," said the manager, ahead of his side's International Champions Cup friendly match against Club America of Mexico today at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.

"Morgan Schneiderlin has to fight with Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind - these are the players who can play in the centre of midfield.

"Matteo Darmian has to fight with (Antonio) Valencia, he knows that but Valencia knows that also."

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2015, with the headline 'Man United still a magnet: Rooney'. Print Edition | Subscribe