According to the BBC, Manchester United are ‘close to completing’ a move for FC Bayern Munchen’s World Cup-winning midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The bwin odds moguls go as short as 3/10 that he is a United player by the close of the transfer window, while it’s 11/5 he stays in Bavaria.
A fee has yet to be thrashed out between the clubs, but Simon Stone testifies to the fact that the Red Devils are happy to give the 30-year-old a sizeable salary hike.
The national broadcaster’s reporter goes on to claim that signing Schweinsteiger would be ‘a significant statement of intent from the Old Trafford club’.
Should they manage to get the deal over the line it will be just that, but the intent it will be signifying may not be one that died-in-the-wool Reds will be altogether comfortable with.
Acquiring the Die Roten lynchpin will almost certainly spell the end of the club’s pursuit of Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
The widely-coveted Frenchman is five years Schweinsteiger’s junior, has never played European football and has yet to nail down his place in Didier Deschamps France first team.
He would have been sure to arrive at Old Trafford with a ravenous hunger to prove himself at a higher level and to play a major part in the club’s success over the next five years or more.
Long-term stalwarts such as Roy Keane and Michael Carrick had come into Old Trafford with similar statuses.
Brilliant as he is, the same cannot be said of the FC Bayern man, who, however professional he may be, will have had his appetite assuaged by winning every domestic trophy in the book, the Champions League and the World Cup.
For United, shunning Schneiderlin to invest significant funds in wages and transfer fees securing 30 year-old Schweinsteiger feels like the kind of short-termism not previously associated with the club during the 26 years in which they carved out their modern stature under Sir Alex Ferguson.