United only reason I switched loyalties: Schweinsteiger

German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger at a press conference.
German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger at a press conference. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Bastian Schweinsteiger, who joined Manchester United from Bayern Munich on a three-year contract yesterday, said that the English Premier League club are the only one he would have left for.

The 30-year-old World Cup winner, who made 500 appearances and spent almost 13 years at Bayern, declared himself ready for a new challenge.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bayern Munich, it has been an incredible journey and I didn't take the decision to leave lightly," he said. "Manchester United is the only club that I would have left Munich for.

"I feel ready for this new and exciting challenge in what I regard as the most competitive league in the world and I am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal again."

Schweinsteiger, for whom United reportedly will pay around £14 million (S$29.3 million), will link up with Morgan Schneiderlin, whose move from Southampton on a four-year contract was also confirmed yesterday.

The 25-year-old midfielder - said to have been signed for around £25 million - had made 253 appearances and scored 15 times for Southampton since his debut in 2008.

"I am delighted to be a Manchester United player," Schneiderlin said. "Once I learnt that United were interested in signing me, it was a very easy decision to make."

He added that he had "enjoyed seven very happy years with Southampton and it is a club that will always be in my heart".

"But the chance to be part of this squad, to help this great club be successful, was too good to miss."

Van Gaal, the United manager, said: "Bastian is the ultimate professional and there is no doubting his talent and his ability to control games. He brings a wealth of experience and is an excellent addition to our squad.

"Morgan is a very talented player with great energy and ability.

"His skills will complement the players that we already have and I am very pleased that we have been able to complete this deal before the tour to the United States."

The announcements mark a second huge summer-spending spree for United after they had signed Angel di Maria for a record £59.7 million last year.

Matteo Darmian, the Italy full- back, and Memphis Depay, the Dutch winger, are also part of the new talent.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'United only reason I switched loyalties: Schweinsteiger'. Print Edition | Subscribe