The Bastian-Schweinsteiger-To-Chicago-Fire plot has thickened significantly over the past couple of weeks, as one would expect when José Mourinho is involved. When the news broke in November that Fire manager Veljko Paunović had met with Schweinsteiger for dinner in Manchester, the entire transaction seemed pretty straightforward. The former Germany captain had yet to feature for United’s first team in any competition this season, and since then has only turned out in the League Cup plus a couple appearances on the team sheet as an unused substitute. It seemed like Schweinsteiger’s deal would get bought out by the Red Devils in January, and the German legend would be on his way to Bridgeview.
Well, not so fast. Jose Mourinho is the ultimate player of mind games, and has come out and said that Manchester United have not received an offer they are wiling to accept for the German legend.
Mourinho said that he doesn’t want to sell players, but if the club receives an offer that meets their valuation of a player who is getting no significant playing time, that he has no right to stand in that player’s way. Schweinsteiger seems to fit the bill, but how is this actually going to shake out?
Hot (Time) Take
If it were any other manager, I would 100% say that he was serious about getting a better offer. But this is José Mourinho we’re talking about. Manchester United aren’t exactly in a weak position with regards to transfer negotiations, and getting a transfer fee for Schweinsteiger to recoup the relatively small (for them) transfer fee that they paid Bayern for him just 18 months ago seems reasonable enough. The club’s primary concern seems to be getting Schweinsteiger’s massive contract off of their books, and with the Fire circling, the move seems to make sense.
I think what Mourinho is ultimately doing here is trying to get a minuscule transfer fee for the player in order to further mitigate losses (on top of getting Schweinie’s paycheck off their ledger). This will end up costing the Fire a bit more in the grand scheme of things, but United still have him under contract and it’s their prerogative. Paying a transfer fee to do the Red Devils a favor which ends up landing one of the best tempo-dictating midfielders in recent history in Bridgeview is a small price to pay. While the negotiations have certainly become more complicated, not a whole lot has changed.