Jose Mourinho has said that Bastian Schweinsteiger has every right to remain at Manchester United for the length of his contract, but is unlikely to play for the club ever again.
After the arrival of Paul Pogba, United now have five midfielders competing for two places in the starting XI, with the likes of Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin also fighting for their place in the squad.
This would give Schweinsteiger almost no chance of playing again, with Mourinho likely to dip into United’s academy should there be a rare large amount of injuries. However, the German did sign a three-year contract with the club when he made the switch from Bayern Munich, and Mourinho said he wouldn’t mind if the midfielder decided to sit out the rest of his contract at the club.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of United’s game against Hull City on Saturday, Jose said: “He (Schweinsteiger) has spoken to me. I cannot answer for him. It’s his life, his career.
“He has a contract with Man United and a right to make that decision and stay. So that’s not a problem for us.
“Football is made of decisions. I knew that all my career, not just me, everyone does. Some players react in a different way and have different kinds of decisions.”
Schweinsteiger released a statement on his social media accounts, saying that United would be his last club in Europe. He did not say too much about his current situation at Old Trafford, but thanked the fans for their support.
Regarding the post, Mourinho said: “To be honest, Bastian is not speaking a lot. He gave his last statement which he is completely free to do in an objective and polite way.
“But I think it is very difficult for him (to play). I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s very difficult.”
Mourinho has been behind a massive clear out at Old Trafford, with 13 players leaving the club this summer, and Schweinsteiger left out all together. He has been desperate to chop United’s first team squad down to 23 players and has done so quite sucessfully, with the 32-year-old Schweinsteiger one of the biggest casualties as a result of the manager’s decision.
Jose added: “We have a decision completely made about (Paul) Pogba, (Ander) Herrera, (Morgan) Schneiderlin, (Marouane) Fellaini, Michael Carrick. We have five players for two positions. It’s very, very difficult that an opportunity will arise.
“I have 23 players in the squad and in principle nobody is leaving because I don’t want anybody to leave and nobody is coming – 23 players is more than enough.
“If you have any kind of problem or opportunity I have a few young players in the academy that I will be more than happy to give them an acceleration in their process.”
Mourinho also hit back at Bayern chief Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, who criticised the 53-year-old Portuguese boss for treating Schweinsteiger with a lack of respect.
“I thought after I read some quotes from people at Bayern Munich they would run to Manchester to bring him back. But, no, that didn’t happen. I’m surprised Mr Rummenigge is not here now.”