A four month chase has finally completed for the Chicago Fire in their chase to sign Bastian Schweinsteiger away from Manchester United, according to the Chicago Tribune and numerous other sources. Schweinsteiger, the 32-year old German born midfielder will look to shake off any rust as the Fire aim to build on their start, after netting four points through three matches.
Nelson Rodriguez, the Fire’s General Manager believes that the addition of Schweinsteiger can help coach Veljko Paunović take a step up, as he is the third designated player on the roster.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The World Cup champion echeo’d the sentiments and is making no mistake on what his goals are with the Major League Soccer side.
“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great,” he said in a statement via the club. “My move to Chicago Fire is no different. Through my conversations with Nelson and Pauno, I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.
Paunovic hopes to have the services of Schnweinsteiger by mid-week, as a physical and P1-Visa remain the only obstacles from the deal being 100% completed. Both of which should be technicalities, though, one has to wonder whether Bastian will be able to shake off the rust instantly, or if there will be a period of struggle, after netting just 40 caps for Manchester United for the past 18-months or so.
The 2013 Bundesliga Player of the Year will be in good company, as the Fire have a solid foundation around him. David Accam, one of the two other Designated Players, is in his third stint with the team, while Nemanja Nikolić was acquired during the off-season as the other DP. Joining Nikolic and making their maiden voyage with the franchise are Juninho, the savvy MLS-veteran who is the Captain of the side, and Dax McCarty, a once sought out after youngster.
A one year deal is reported, worth roughly $4.5M, catapulting him into one of the ten highest paid players, and a mutual option for year two could pay major dividends for Paunović.