Recent reports have linked Manchester United FC with midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kevin Strootman. Sitting on a transfer war chest which is supposed to be in the £220 million range, the Red Devils have yet to consummate a significant signing splash to bolster the side during this summer transfer window. With Louis van Gaal busy with Netherlands World Cup duties and most top players involved, the transfer window may remain closed for the Old Trafford club until games are completed in Brazil. Nevertheless, transfer talk abounds that the latest ManU preferred midfield target is the 29-year-old Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich, with Roma’s Strootman as a potential running mate or alternative.
Schweinsteiger would provide superb playmaking ability and leadership. With rumblings of dissatisfaction with the Bayern Munich co-captain coming from Manager Pep Guardiola, United could have an opportunity to strike a deal. The real question is whether the grumbling of Guardiola is designed to be motivational for Schweinsteiger or an actual desire to sell the player. If the Munich club will countenance a transfer, Manchester United has the money and the need. Schweinsteiger could improve the midfield situation and provide a stabilizing influence beneficial to the rest of the side with his skills and experience. Based upon the player’s beloved standing with the club, wrestling Schweinsteiger away from Bayern may be a long shot. Still, if even a slight opportunity exists, no doubt Ed Woodward will be pursuing talks to make a deal for Schweinsteiger.
The tough as nails 24-year-old Strootman is also said to be a prime target of the Red Devils. After suffering a knee injury in March, the midfielder remains on the sidelines as his Netherlands mates take on Group B foes in the FIFA World Cup. Although Strootman is not expected to recover from his knee injury until the fall, van Gaal is reported to remain interested in a summer signing anyway. Early reports indicated that Roma’s Walter Sabbatini refuted any desire to sell the young player, but recent whispers attach a £28 million price on the tackling midfielder. A Strootman transfer could give van Gaal the type of young building block he could use for years to come at Old Trafford.
Manchester United has been linked to a potential transfer deal for Toni Kroos for months. The reported interest in Schweinsteiger may finally put the Kroos transfer rumors to bed. The Munich club would likely not sell both players. Perhaps inserting Schweinsteiger as the midfield leader would allow van Gaal to go younger with other acquisitions. An experienced hand steadying the side could be invaluable as van Gaal stockpiles young talent to complement him. Even if Schwiensteiger is at the point in which the end of his prime is visible, he could provide an experience and leadership bridge for younger players who could be acquired, such as Strootman or Mats Hummels.
Red Devils fans await a cavalcade of signings in the transfer window to refurbish the side. The money appears to be lined up for a major splash. With Manchester United linked to Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kevin Strootman, getting the transfer ball rolling with two excellent midfielders would be a great way to start improving the Old Trafford club.
Commentary by William Costolo