World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to complete his move to Manchester United from Bayern Munich upon the passing of a medical.
The German international will fill the holding-midfield vacancy the Old Trafford outfit have been recruiting for all summer so far, lessening their desperation to sign Southampton equivalent Morgan Schneiderlin.
It was anticipated the Frenchman would be sold to the Red Devils, but after an initial bid from Louis van Gaal’s side was rejected, this particular deal has been left to simmer.
This obviously lends favour to the possibility that Schneiderlin could remain at St Mary’s, but widespread reports indicate Man Utd are still keen on signing him regardless of the pending Schweinsteiger capture.
Whether their rumoured interest materialises into a transfer, or the former eventuality occurs, the soon-to-be 31-year-old’s Theatre of Dreams arrival cannot be viewed favourably from a Southampton perspective.
United are looking increasingly likely to be the only Premier League outfit able to make the Schneiderlin transaction.
They’re the only team who can satisfy his demands to play in the Champions League and who have need for a player of his kind, while also being able to afford the astronomic sum required to sign him.
Of the other clubs attributed with an interest in his services, Arsenal have a surplus of midfielders and Tottenham can’t offer a seat at Europe’s top table.
Now with Schweinsteiger all but on board, their need to add further holding-midfield reinforcements has diminished drastically, which suggests they’re less likely to fork out the £25m Southampton are insisting upon for their star man, a figure they wouldn’t pay when they didn’t have an alternative.
Still, Schneiderlin will want to leave the club and, as he demonstrated 12 months ago when the club blocked his move to Spurs, he isn’t afraid to resort to petulance in order to get his way.
This means that the Saints will, on the one hand, have to sell to Man Utd at a price they deem below his value or keep him and risk a season of sulking and potential disruption in the dressing room before selling in a year’s time at even bigger knockdown figure.