Manchester United’s transfer activity moved up several gears on Sunday, as deals were confirmed for Italian full-back Matteo Darmian and German midfielder Bastain Schweinsteiger, whilst also confirming that Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton was to undergo a medical on Monday morning.
Whilst the transfer for 25-year-old Darmian’s was expected, the arrival of Schweinsteiger was greeted with a slight sense of surprise by the footballing world. The 30-year-old midfielder had spent 13 years at previous club Bayern Munich, where he had made 500 appearances and was very much a club icon. However, only having a limited role in last season’s domestic double-winning campaign increased his desire to move abroad for the first time in his career.
Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge summed up the feeling of most Bayern Munich fans, stating: "It's regrettable because Bastian meant a great deal to the club.
"He achieved great things but he wants to do something new at the end of his career. He asked that we meet his wishes."
Read: Schweinsteiger to join United, announce Bayern
Conversely, Schneiderlin’s arrival had a sense of inevitability. The 25-year-old Frenchman, who occupies a similar midfield role to Schweinsteiger, is expected to leave Southampton for £25m, having been subject to a £20m bid from United last week. With United having already spent £31m on winger Memphis Depay, and the Darmian deal costing an additional £13m, the Manchester club is signaling a sign of intent toward this year’s Premier League title.
Sterling to become a Citizen
United’s arch-rivals Manchester City were also strengthening their ranks for next season, with the £49m transfer of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool close to completion, making Sterling the most expensive player under the age of 21.
The 20-year-old winger’s transfer would see an end to a saga that stretches back to when the 20-year-old declined a new £100,000-per-week contract during last season.
Sterling claimed that his decision to turn down Liverpool’s offer of a new contract was ‘nothing to do with money’, whilst adding that had the club offered him a contract last summer, he would have accepted it.
Through moving to City, Sterling’s chances of winning trophies would be significantly boosted, especially with the club participating in this year’s UEFA Champions League along with playing in a squad which boasts a wealth of world-class talent including Spanish midfielder David Silva and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero to name but two.
Read: Casillas leaves Real Madrid for Porto
The proposed deal has sparked a huge social media reaction, with critics and fans alike, belittling Manchester City’s willingness to spend so much money on a player who, although clearly talented, fails to justify a £50m transfer fee. Speaking to kicca.com, Sky Sports pundit and ex- Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said: “Raheem is a very good young player but he has not yet hit the heights of an Owen, Rooney, Fowler or Giggs at this stage of his career.”
Pedro to burn bridges with Barca in Chelsea move
Reports have circulated that Barcelona winger Pedro is set to move to Premier League champions Chelsea.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho is prepared to meet the €30million (£22million) buyout clause in the ex-Tenerife player’s contract, once Barcelona’s presidential elections have taken place.
27-year-old Pedro has found himself lower down the pecking order at Camp Nou, with the forward trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar proving incredibly fruitful for the Spanish and European champions.
However, at an age where most attacking players enter the prime of their career, Pedro would prove to be a more than useful signing for Chelsea, given the lack of impact made by January signing Juan Cuadrado on the Premier League.
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