Bastian Schweinsteiger is at the top of Louis van Gaal's transfer wish list at Manchester United, sources have told kicker and ESPN FC. The interest is for a move to England this summer, a year before his contract his due to expire with Bayern Munich.
Schweinsteiger and the club have yet to come to terms on a contract extension, the midfielder saying during the winter break he was "concentrating on the basics." The Bayern vice-captain is not in a rush to sign an extension, a stigma he expressed in January as well.
The 30-year-old had similar speculation surrounding him in 2010 when his contract was due to expire a year later. Manchester United were one of the clubs interested in Schweinsteiger then, as was Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan. The speculation was so great, Schweinsteiger took a microphone after a 3-0 win against St. Pauli and told the fans he signed a five-year extension.
Bayern made an effort last summer to extend its iconic players, locking up Thomas Müller until 2019 and Philipp Lahm until 2018. Müller was said to be on van Gaal's wish list a year ago – kicker claims he still is – but the 25-year-old eventually signed a new deal while with Germany at the World Cup.
Last week Schweinsteiger made his 500th league appearance for Bayern, a milestone few in recent years have gotten to achieve. Playing nearly every match under Jupp Heynckes the two years the retired manager was in charge, Schweinsteiger's injuries limited him to a half-season's worth of matches under Pep Guardiola. Several, including kicker, believe he has lost some of his value, and may be losing his place in the side.
Bayern's season concludes when they host Mainz 05 on the day they will celebrate their 25th league championship. The offseason that follows will be interesting for Schweinsteiger as he finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place for the second time in his career.