Pep Guardiola: Bastian Schweinsteiger free to decide future

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola says Manchester United-linked Bastian Schweinsteiger is free to determine his own future.

On Thursday, it was largely speculated – in the Telegraph - that Bastian Schweinsteiger had received interest from Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, who built a working relationship with the player during his time at the Allianz Arena.

Sources such as the Telegraph, Daily Mail and German magazine Kicker ran with the story that later gained momentum on this morning's back pages.

Amid reports that United would be prepared to sign the World Cup-winning midfielder, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he expects Schweinsteiger to stay with the Bundesliga champions, but admits that the decision is entirely up to the player.

This is the response Van Gaal would have been looking for, if Manchester United's interest is genuine.

Schweinsteiger has spent almost 20 years at Bayern club, graduating from the academy ranks into the first team. A move to United could open up a number of opportunities, though, such as playing in a different country and achieving different honours.

"My plan for next season is that Bastian Schweinsteiger is here," Guardiola told journalists, as covered by Sky Sports, on Friday.

"Schweinsteiger is an outstanding legend of Bayern Munich. He has to decide – not Pep, not [CEO] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. If he wants to stay for three or four more years here, he can do that."

Schweinsteiger is deservedly considered to be a legend at Bayern Munich after a successful and trophy-laden career at the club. The 30-year-old has won eight Bundesliga titles, an array of German domestic cups and a Champions League.

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