Berlin: Bastian Schweinsteiger was coy about rumours Manchester United are set to bid for him with a year left on his contract as Bayern Munich celebrated their Bundesliga title on Sunday.
"I'm under contract until 2016. I'm glad you asked, but I won't comment on it," Schweinsteiger told Sky Sports, having scored in Bayern's 2-0 win over Mainz on Saturday on the final day of the Bundesliga season. Schweinsteiger took part in Bayern's title celebrations in Munich's Marienplatz on Sunday as the team displayed the German league trophy from the town hall balcony in front of 20,000 fans.
It is the eighth time he has won the Bundesliga, having also lifted the German Cup on seven occasions, and was a key factor in Bayern's 2013 Champions League win during his 12 years with the Bavarian giants. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has said he is planning with Schweinsteiger for next season, but admitted the 30-year-old has his future in his own hands. "He's an outstanding legend at the club.
He has to decide, but he has a contract and is part of my plans for next season," Guardiola said in a press conference last Friday having promised to strengthen Bayern's squad. But Man Utd boss Van Gaal is reported to be interested in taking Schweinsteiger off Bayern's hands having worked with Germany's captain during his two years as head coach in Munich and has admitted he is looking for a holding midfielder.
And ex-Germany international Dietmar Hamann says he does not expect Schweinsteiger to see out his career in Munich. "I assume that Schweinsteiger won't play for Bayern in the coming years," Hamann told German magazine Kicker. With a market value of 28 million euros ($30.8m), Schweinsteiger is part of an aging squad and missed large chunks of the season with a knee, then an ankle injury.
Munich bosses may want to cash in on his status as Germany captain after his commanding display at the 2014 World Cup. The defensive midfielder was magnificent in the Maracana final and cast a bloodied figure at the final whistle after extra time having soaked up every bruising tackle by Argentina.
It silenced questions about Schweinsteiger's leadership qualities, such as Bild's 2012 insistence: "Schweini remains Schweini and he'll never be a leader!" after Germany were knocked out of Euro 2012 by a 2-1 semi-final defeat to Italy. "Just like a film director has a script, Schweinsteiger has a match plan and I am glad to have him," said Jupp Heynckes in 2013 when he coached Bayern to the Champions League title.