Schweini may leave United for nothing

Bastian Schweinsteiger after Germany's Euro 2016 semi-final loss against France on July 7.
Bastian Schweinsteiger after Germany's Euro 2016 semi-final loss against France on July 7.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Manchester United would consider allowing Bastian Schweinsteiger to leave for free, after the German midfielder stated that they will be the last European football club he plays for.

The 32-year-old cost United around £6 million (S$10.7 million) when Louis van Gaal, the former manager, signed him from Bayern Munich last year.

After a disappointing first season, there is a recognition at United that, if it is suitable for both parties, a transfer fee will not be requested should the German receive an attractive offer.

The World Cup winner, who retired from international football last month, has two years remaining on his three-season, £140,000-a-week contract. That equates to around £15 million in wages if he stays until the end of his deal.

Allowing Schweinsteiger to go for free would give the midfielder a greater chance of finding a club that is desirable to him and would cut United's losses on a player who has been dropped from the first-team squad by manager Jose Mourinho.

The Daily Mail also reported on Wednesday that several United players warned him to stop watching his now-wife Ana Ivanovic play tennis and train while the German was returning from injury last season.

Schweinsteiger was pictured following Ivanovic, 28, in Miami and Madrid as United struggled to secure Champions League football.

His statement on Wednesday that he will not play for another European club appeared to pave the way for a move to a club in Major League Soccer, China or the Middle East.

However, the transfer windows of the MLS and China are closed until February and June respectively, so unless he becomes a free agent, Schweinsteiger could not play there until then.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Schweini may leave United for nothing'. Print Edition | Subscribe