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Saturday, 28 March 2020

Bayern star Schweinsteiger confirms Manchester United switch

AFP , Sunday 12 Jul 2015
Bastian Schweinsteiger
In this March 4, 2015 file picture Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger watches the ball during the German Soccer Cup round of sixteen match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Braunschweig in Munich, southern Germany (AP)
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Philipp Lahm says it is an "absolute pity" Bastian Schweinsteiger will quit Bayern Munich for Manchester United, subject to a medical, as the Germany captain confirmed the move on Sunday.

Bayern announced on Saturday that they had agreed a transfer fee with United for the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who is set to quit after 17 years to sign a three-year deal with the English club.

"Dear fans, after 17 incredible years at FC Bayern, 15 national titles, winning the historical triple and uncountable other highlights, I have decided to take a new career step," wrote Schweinsteiger on his Facebook page.

"This decision was very hard to make because you and FC Bayern have, are and will always be an extremely important part of my life.

"Nevertheless, I would like to again gain experience at a new club and my destination is Manchester United.

"I hope you understand my decision. No one can take away the incredible journey we had together."

He will be the first German to play for United.

According to both the German and UK media, United will pay Bayern around £14m (19.47m euros, $21.72m) and will see Schweinsteiger work again under former Bayern coach and present Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

The English giants are reported to be eager to complete the deal soon so that Schweinsteiger can join them when they fly out on their north American tour on Monday and he was due to have a medical on Sunday.

Bayern meanwhile are left to contemplate life without their midfield dynamo.

"We have to simply respect and accept his (Schweinsteiger) decision. He's looking for a new challenge, but for me it's an absolute pity he is going, I have to say," said Bayern captain Lahm.

Having made 536 appearances for Bayern since his debut in 2002 as an 18-year-old, Schweinsteiger has won all there is to win in Germany.

Bayern's vice-captain collected his eighth Bundesliga winners medal last season and has lifted the German Cup on seven occasions.

He was a key figure in the 2013 treble-winning side which won the Champions League, league and cup crowns.

"He's a great player and there's no need to talk about him as a footballer," said Bayern's Brazil international Rafinha.

"He was a leader for us and everyone here is sad that he's going, but I hope he has a lot of success at Manchester United."

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski echoed Rafinha's sentiments by wishing his ex-team-mate "all the best" at United.

Despite his departure Munich will still be able to boast the likes of Spain stars Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez in their central midfield.

They have also signed Brazil winger Douglas Costa and Germany Under-19 midfield talent Joshua Kimmich for next season.

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