Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has signed for MLS side Chicago Fire – with a finalised move mooted for next week – according to a substantial report.
The German World Cup winner, largely out of favour at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho, has reportedly penned a one-year deal with an option to extend.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something,” Schweinsteiger told the Chicago Tribune.
“My move to Chicago Fire is no different. I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.”
Schweinsteiger has made just four appearances for United this season, scoring one goal, after forcing his way back from exile and into the first team squad.
The 32-year-old will apparently earn $4.5 million (£3.6m) through his designated player contract in 2017.
“We know it’s going to take some time and adjustment for him coming to the new league, new coaching staff and everything. We also know we can rely on his capacity to adapt and do that fast,” said Fire coach Veljko Paunovic.
“He can produce actions that few players in the world can do. He sees (things) that nobody sees. He opens the eyes of the fans, where you can hear the people say, ‘Wow!’.”
The MLS season is three games old, with Fire sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference.
2014 World Cup: Germany talisman Bastian Schweinsteiger kisses the trophyReuters
“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,” Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez added.
“We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, an 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.”
Schweinsteiger won 121 caps for Germany, scoring 24 goals, before retiring from international football last summer – the highlight coming in the victorious 2014 World Cup campaign.