Schweinsteiger commits to Bayern
Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has signed a new contract to keep him with the Bundesliga club until 2016.
The 26-year-old German international had been linked with a summer move to Manchester United, with his previous deal having been due to expire at the end of next season.
But he has now committed his future to the German champions and took to the microphone minutes after the full-time whistle in this afternoon's 3-0 win over St Pauli to inform the club's fans of the news.
In quotes reported on the club's website, he told fans at the Allianz Arena: "I've extended my contract and I'm staying with Bayern until 2016. Long live Bayern!" Schweinsteiger declared to the fans: "I've extended my contract for you."
The Bavarian native joined the club in 1998, winning the German U-17 and U-19 championships and starring for the reserves before securing a professional contract. He has won the domestic league and cup double five times and played in the 2010 UEFA Champions League final.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expressed his confidence last month that Schweinsteiger would not be going anywhere before his old contract expired in 2012. Rumours persisted that Bayern may have been considering selling him this summer should he not sign an extension by then, in order to avoid the risk of losing him on a free transfer 12 months later.
However, Rummenigge ruled out that eventuality and said he hoped Schweinsteiger would pledge his long-term future to the club, and that wish has now come true. "Bastian has developed a great deal in the last two years and I am very optimistic that we and his agents can find an agreement," he said at the club's annual general meeting on 30 November. "Our aim is to give Bastian a long-term contract."
Rummenigge's words were met with resounding applause from the members present at the AGM. After tying Philipp Lahm down to a new long-term contract recently, and with Thomas Muller showing his commitment to the club, Schweinsteiger was the last remaining home-grown talent that still needed to make up his mind about his future.
Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid and Manchester United had also reportedly been tracking Schweinsteiger.