Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could return to Bayern Munich this summer, according to Sky Sports.
The 32-year-old former Germany captain, who retired from international duty on Saturday, has reportedly been told he is not part of Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans at Old Trafford next season and has spent the last few days training with the reserves.
Schweinsteiger struggled to nail down a regular place in the United midfield last season, injuries restricting the World Cup winner to just 13 Premier League starts with his only goal coming in a 1-1 draw with Champions Leicester City in November.
According to Sky Sources, Schweinsteiger could return to Bavaria after just one season in England despite signing a three-year contract with the Red Devils last summer.
And Bayern Munich captain Phillip Lahm said a return home would be the ideal solution for the 120-time capped midfielder.
“It is important to bind players who deserve it to the club,” Lahm told Sport Bild today.
“Basti knows everyone and everything here, he would be predestined to work in the team.”
This new development comes as something of a shock after Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Saturday that he did not envisage Schweinsteiger returning to Germany.
"I am 100 per cent convinced that Schweinsteiger will not return to Germany," Rummenigge told TZ.
"Bayern Munich are his club and he would never play for another Bundesliga club. I would be hugely surprised if that were to happen.”
The eight-time Bundesliga champion could not expect to slot straight back into the heart of the Bayern midfield upon a possible return, with Portuguese prodigy Renato Sanches joining Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, Joshua Kimmich and Lahm in vying for a starting spot in Carlo Ancelotti’s new-look midfield next season.
Yet, Schweinsteiger’s departure from United will come as no surprise as the club continues to haggle over a world-record fee for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba (below).
Meanwhile, £27 million midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, six years younger than the German, is expected to play a much more important role in the first-team in the upcoming campaign as Mourinho searches for a more energetic, dynamic midfield partnership.
This is good news for Ander Herrera, rejuvenated in a deeper, scheming role in pre-season. The Spaniard started all three of United’s friendlies against Wigan, Dortmund and Galatasaray, adding his trademark vigour to a midfield that so often appeared sluggish and predictable under Van Gaal.
Furthermore, the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss has made clear his admiration for 35-year-old Michael Carrick (below), whom he tied down to a new one-year deal almost immediately after his appointment.
"Michael is a very intelligent midfielder and a great reader of the game,” Mourinho told the club’s official website in June. “I am pleased that he will be extending his contract.”
“Michael has a wealth of experience from his many years at the club and that knowledge will be invaluable to me. I am really looking forward to working with him."