Former Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger has completed a move to MLS side Chicago Fire from Manchester United.
Schweinsteiger confirmed the deal which was agreed on Monday but is subject to a medical and visa being secured in a statement to the Manchester United website.
“I am sad to leave so many friends at Manchester United. But I am grateful to the club for allowing me the chance to take up this challenge.”
“I have enjoyed working with the manager, players and staff but I have to reserve special thanks to the fans. I will always remember their energy and their passion.”
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) March 21, 2017
Reports from the Chicago Tribune say that he signed a one-year contract.
Bastian Schweinsteiger had held talks with the MLS outfit last year but opted to stay at United until the end of the season after coming back into the squad in recent weeks.
Chicago Fire, however, requested that the midfielder joins them now since he was unlikely to play a significant role under Mourinho for the remainder of the season.
United were reluctant to sanction the deal but agreed to it after Fire made it clear they would not be interested at the end of the campaign.
Speaking on the impending arrival of their new acquisition, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez told the Tribune:
”We’re adding someone who has won at every level, including the very highest levels, and has done so in a way that is consistent with our values.”
”We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and accountability level. Previously, I think we could satisfy ourselves with what is known domestically. Now we need to rise to a standard that is set more internationally.”
Chicago Fire manager Veljko Paunovic told the newspaper Bastian Schweinsteiger would be a huge example of a champion in the locker room.
“He still is somebody that can show that on the field and [demonstrate] how our guys have to work, prepare, behave, think and work together in order to get to that level.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger has made 121 appearances for Germany, winning the European and World Cups.
He left Bayern Munich in 2015 after 17 years to join United under manager Loius Van Gaal. The move turned out to be a bad move as the player was subsequently frozen out by new manager Jose Mourinho for being unfit just one year later.
He was made to train alone or with the under-23 side for a few months but returned to the first-team set-up to feature in an EFL Cup win over West Ham on 30 November.
He went on to make just three further appearances for the club, scoring one goal.