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17th Dec 2016

Bastian Schweinsteiger could reportedly hang up his boots next summer

What a fall from grace

Darragh Murphy

Given how limited his chances have been this season, you’d be excused for believing that Bastian Schweinsteiger was much closer to a typical footballing retirement age than he actually is.

But, in fact, the forgotten Manchester United midfielder is still only 32 years old and one would imagine that he’s still got the ability to pull the strings in the middle of the park for a few years to come, if given the opportunity.

Schweinsteiger’s time in Manchester has become close to heartbreaking as the former World Cup winner has been forced down the pecking order to the point that he’s now reportedly considering calling time on his career.

The German has only made one appearance under Jose Mourinho this season, coming on as a substitute late on in the Red Devils’ 4-1 League Cup victory over West Ham last month.

After a warm welcome back to the fold by United fans, who remain fully supportive of the veteran, Schweinsteiger seemed to have been awarded a lifeline by Mourinho, who insisted that there was a chance for the midfielder to remain at the club beyond the January transfer window.

But even with that seemingly positive update from his manager and amid interest from Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, it would appear that Schweinsteiger may be ready to call it a day.

The Sun report that retirement has become a genuine option for the player who is contracted to United until May 2018.

Schweinsteiger has insisted that United would be his last European club and his commitment to the cause has made him a fan favourite in spite of the lack of an impact he’s had on the pitch.

It’s understood that offers were on the table from both China and the United States, and nobody would blame Schweinsteiger for seeing out his career with a lucrative contract in either league.

But if he decides against moving and hangs up his boots next summer then he would not only miss out on that significant windfall but he would be waving goodbye to over ÂŁ6 million as he is currently on ÂŁ140,000 a week at Old Trafford.

How truly sad it would be to see a legend of the game bow out in such unceremonious fashion, if he does make that call.

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