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Schweinsteiger’s move to United would show they have their style back

The Boot Room

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Over the last decade or so a trend has bucked that European nations have expressed their play, style and culture through their central midfielders. When you look at England with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Italy with Andrea Pirlo, France with Zinedine Zidane, Spain with Xavi and Germany’s answer? Bastian Schweinsteiger. In the last week, reports have circulated that Louis Van Gaal is interested in taking the German from Bayern Munich in what would be his second signing of the transfer window.

In terms of a high profile signing, they wouldn’t come much bigger than the World Cup winner. He wouldn’t necessarily be an addition purely for his on the field involvement, but a transfer based on it’s influence and power on what it would do off it too. It would be a real morale booster for the Red Devils if they could attract a player of Schweinsteiger’s stature. Now that Manchester United have achieved that Champions League place that was widely so expected of them, capturing a world renowned midfielder could be what is needed for them.

The German would be 31 when the season starts, as he celebrates his birthday on the 1st August. He’s certainly not young, but his experience should be an asset to the team. Having captained Bayern Munich and Germany, his leadership skills are evidently clear for all to see. It would give them such a boost if he is to join, and it would definitely show their intent to challenge for the title this time around, and challenge in Europe once more. It would show that United are beginning to get their style back that they were renowned for under Sir Alex, and that they have lacked under David Moyes and van Gaal.

A World Cup winner with Germany, Schweinsteiger’s experience would prove invaluable at Old Trafford.

His trophy cabinet is one that can only be admired, and he has flourished in German football. In an age now where we seem to have seen the last of one club players, it was inevitable that he was bound to leave the Allianz at some stage, and also with Bayern’s recent transfer policy of young players, Schweinsteiger could very well be leaving the Munich club.

The speculation regarding the possibility comes side by side with the Red Devil’s interest in Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, with Van Gaal apparently waiting on Schweinsteiger’s decision before confirming the French international who is also being chased by Arsenal.

If Schweinsteiger is to join, his abilities stretch far more than just leadership and experience. The eight times Bundesliga winner would bring his strength in breaking up play and distributing the ball, aswell as posing a goalscoring threat from deep. The central midfield hole has never really been resolved since Ferguson left. With Wayne Rooney having to drop back into the position for too much of last season, a central midfielder is certainly high up on Van Gaal’s shopping list. Marouane Fellaini had a very successful second half of last season, and Daley Blind and Ander Herrera showed promise. None of the three have fully cemented themselves and convinced that they are the answer though, so an addition into the squad should provide some healthy competition for a spot in the starting 11.

Schweinsteiger missed the first part of the season through injury, but then made 20 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 5 goals. He achieved a highly impressive 88% pass accuracy, and was an integral part of their title winning season late on.

Let’s not fool ourselves, the German midfielder wouldn’t be a key part to Manchester United’s revival attempts next year. Just like any ageing footballer, he’s not the player that he once was. Having said that, he would still be a huge marquee signing for the North-West giants, and would prove their ambitions with van Gaal. He would be a fantastic addition for United and the Premier League, but the chances of him joining seem to be slimming with the potential Schneiderlin deal gathering pace. Whatever happens, Schweinsteiger would be a hugely worthwhile purchase, and at the moment, no other clubs stand inbetween Manchester United and their man.

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Bayern Munich

Done Deal: Swansea City sign Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on season-long loan

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In a summer transfer window full of crazy and unexpected moves, Swansea City may have just put the icing on top of the cake as the South Wales outfit have secured a deal for Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches.

Paul Clement has well and truly proved the old cliché ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ and utilised his contacts from his time as the German side’s assistant coach to push a deal through.

Who is Renato Sanches?

The Portuguese midfielder originally made a name for himself coming through the Benfica youth system as child, being signed up in 2006, and since then he moved from Benfica ‘B’ to the first-team.

During his solitary season playing in Portugal he quickly became a key member of their starting eleven, featuring six times in the Champions League, and he alerted the attention of Europe’s elite.

But it was Bayern Munich who secured a lucrative deal for Sanches last summer, setting the Bundesliga side back £27.5 million, and it was thought that he would be the next big young midfielder.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that in the past 12 months though, starting just four league matches all season, and a spell in the Premier League may be what’s needed for him to rejuvenate his career.

What is the deal?

The two sides have come to an agreement – as reported on Swansea’s official website – that sees Sanches arriving on a season-long loan at the Liberty Stadium, completing the necessary paperwork yesterday.

Where will he fit in at the Liberty?

With talisman Gyfli Sigurdsson leaving in a £45 million move to Everton, there’s a distinct lack of attacking prowess in the Swansea City midfield and this is where Sanches is worth his weight in gold.

He is a stereotypical box-to-box midfielder, having excellent technical ability and skills when in possession of the ball and always loking to use his power try drive forward and influence attacks.

And alongside that boss Clement knows that he’ll bring his endless work-rate to the Swans, adding much-needed defensive steel to a somewhat limp current side with his natural tough-tackling play.

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Bayern Munich

How Twitter reacted to Swansea City signing Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches on loan

Jake Jackman

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Sanches

Swansea City have confirmed the arrival of Renato Sanches on a loan deal from Bayern Munich. Sky Sports report that the Swans will pay a loan fee in excess of £2 million to take the midfielder to the Liberty Stadium for a year. This is a remarkable deal by the club and underlines the contacts that manager Paul Clement has in the game.

The Swansea manager will have worked with the 20-year-old for a short period last season at the Allianz Arena before he took the job in the Premier League. He worked at Bayern Munich as the assistant to Carlo Ancelotti and the Italian has now done his close friend a favour by letting him have one of the most exciting young midfielders on loan for a season.

Bayern Munich want the midfielder to gain regular first-team football as he has now reached a key stage in his development. It was a frustrating first season in the Bundesliga for Sanches and he now gets the opportunity to test himself in another league. The Premier League will suit his physicality and energy in the middle of the park. It won’t have been in his plans to go on loan to a club like Swansea, but he will relish the opportunity to play regularly.

It is thought that Sanches was keen to move to Swansea over other clubs, due to his existing relationship with Clement. He joined Bayern Munich last summer for a fee of £28 million and that shows the standing he has in the European game. It is a huge coup for Swansea and one that will excite the supporters.

Last summer, Sanches was named the Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016 as he helped Portugal to win the competition. He showed a maturity beyond his years and established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the game. The last year hasn’t gone as well as he would have hoped, but he now has the opportunity to further his development in England.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:

https://twitter.com/SaucySonaldo/status/902862630246866944

Swansea fans were understandably excited by the signing:

Supporters of other clubs were jealous of the signing:

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Chelsea look to Bayern Munich for latest wing-back target – Is a move likely?

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Rafinha

As Chelsea prepare for a potentially busy deadline day, German newspaper Bild suggest that one potential arrival could be Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha.

What would Rafinha bring to Stamford Bridge?

One thing that the 31-year-old can offer in abundance is experience. As a winner of the Bundesliga and Champions League with Bayern Munich, he could help the more inexperienced members of Chelsea’s squad as they return to Europe’s elite competition this season.

He also offers versatility. It is most likely that Rafinha will take up a wing-back role if he does move to Stamford Bridge, but Antonio Conte will be keen on the fact that he can play on either flank. He can also play as a central defender if required, and that could encourage Chelsea to make a move for him.

The Brazilian also shares a number of attributes with both Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. In particular, his impressive range of passing and crossing will appeal and he is a clear threat when bombing down the flank on the attack.

Is a move likely?

Bayern are hugely reluctant to sell their man as Carlo Ancelotti feels that he is a reliable second choice right-back. With Philip Lahm having retired, he has also picked up the reigns as the experienced veteran in the Bayern defence, which carries huge importance on and off the field.

However, it’s not yet clear if the Brazilian is content with such a role. Having played just 23 minutes so far this season, he may be keen to move abroad and have a go at the Premier League as, at his age, it could be his last opportunity to do so.

Chelsea could well pursue a move for him. It’s clear that wing-back is one of their top priorities this summer as they look to add cover and competition for Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. With only 10 months left on his contract at the Allianz Arena, they could be in a strong negotiating position.

Rafinha to Chelsea
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Transfer Likelihood
The Boot Room's Verdict
He may be on a list of Chelsea targets, but it seems unlikely that he would be a priority. With only hours left and Bayern not willing to sell, it seems unlikely.
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