Manchester United took their summer spending to £80 million this week with the capture of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
United boss Louis van Gaal has turned to the experienced Schweinsteiger, a World Cup winner with Germany, to strengthen his midfield as he looks to build a team capable of challenging Chelsea for the title. Jose Mourinho pulled off a major coup last summer when bringing in Cesc Fabregas but Schweinsteiger is more of a holding midfield player.
He suffered an injury after last summer?s World Cup and did not return to action for Bayern Munich until towards the end of November. Schweinsteiger has 111 caps for his country, eight Bundesliga title and a Champions League victory to his credit. He played 342 league appearances for Bayern but only started fifteen times last season.
He was in direct competition with Xabi Alonso in midfield and was arguably second in the pecking order under Pep Guardiola. There has been some debate over the fitness of the German Captain who has suffered from knee and ankle problems in recent seasons. It is certainly no forgone conclusion that he will be able to meet the demands of the Premiership season, especially with United now restored to the Champions League. Big-name transfers do not always come off in the Premiership, as United themselves discovered last season with Radamel Falcao.
Indeed, it may well be that he will be a mainstay of the side for their European matches rather than being asked to turn out every weekend in the Premiership. The transfer did not come as a surprise with a move to Old Trafford having been rumored for several months. It is interesting that Van Gaal has announced the signing of Schneiderlin at the same time, a more attack-minded player. Southampton paid £1.2 million for the French International in 2008 and he has now cost United around £25 million.
He has signed a four-year-deal and joins previous summer signings, right back Memphis Depay and winger Matteo Darmian. United?s summer dealings may not be over just yet as rumors persist about a move to Real Madrid for goalkeeper David De Gea. He has traveled with the team for their tour of the USA but Angel Di Maria was not with them after playing in the recent Copa America.
Van Gaal spent in excess of £150 million last season and is still believed to be chasing a top level striker. Shweinsteiger?s Bayern Munich team-mate Thomas Muller has been named as a possible target but the Bundesliga side has ruled out the possibility of a second World Cup star leaving the club.