Football: Bastian Schweinsteiger joins Manchester United on 3-year deal

Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrating after the second goal during German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs 1 FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany.
Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrating after the second goal during German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs 1 FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger brought the curtain down on his hugely successful career at Bayern Munich on Saturday, as it was announced he is joining English Premier League giants Manchester United subject to passing a medical.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Bayern and United have agreed an undisclosed transfer fee for the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who has made 536 appearances for Bayern since his senior debut in 2002.

Schweinsteiger informed the German champions on Friday he wanted a change of scenery and is expected to sign a three-year contract with the Red Devils.

"Bastian and I had a serious conversation on Friday. He told me he has been thinking about his career and wants to try something new," said Rummenigge. "He asked me to find a way and things between Manchester United and Bayern Munich have been clarified, we have agreed on a fair transfer fee.

"We have taken into account that Bastian is a very deserving player. We tried to convince him to stay with Bayern Munich, but I completely understand that after 17 years with us, he wants to experience something new.

"Other figures in German football like Franz Beckenbauer to New York, Gunter Netzer to Real Madrid and myself to Inter Milan, have taken the step in their careers to move abroad and I can understand his desire to do the same."

United confirmed the arrival of what is the first ever German player to join the club in a statement on their official website.

"Manchester United are delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Bayern Munich to sign midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, subject to a medical and personal terms," the statement announced.

Rummenigge said Schweinsteiger had turned down the chance to take part in Saturday's Bayern team presentation at the Allianz Arena to bid farewell. The news was received with some boos and whistles from fans in the stadium.

Rummenigge insisted there is no truth to reports Schweinsteiger is leaving Bayern because of problems with coach Pep Guardiola. "I would like to refer to that in the realm of fairytales," he said drily.

The Bayern chairman also said no other Bayern player will join United this summer, ending speculation Germany star Thomas Mueller may follow.

Germany coach Joachim Loew gave his blessing to Schweinsteiger's transfer. He said: "Basti is an absolute leader and world-class player, who can make his mark on any team and obviously Manchester United."

"He knows Louis van Gaal, who really wanted to have him, and that is a good position to be in. I am convinced that the new stimulus in the Premier League will do him good. I know he is a player who still has a lot of goals and ambitions and he'll face the new challenge in England with dedication and high motivation.

"I expect the move will give him a further boost in terms of the European championships in France, where we will be relying on him to lead the team. For FC Bayern and the Bundesliga, his departure is unquestionably a loss."

Schweinsteiger comes to Old Trafford with a vast wealth of experience having helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup and has lifted the German league title eight times with Bayern and the German Cup on seven occasions.

He was part of the Bayern team which won the 2013 Treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles under Jupp Heynckes and went on to win the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup at the end of the year.

Schweinsteiger has won 111 caps for Germany, playing in three World Cup finals, and he succeeded Philipp Lahm as captain of the world champions after their Brazil 2014 triumph.