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MLS: Bastian Schweinsteiger Plotting A Move Stateside, As Well As Juninho

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United in action during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Current Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger may be planning for a move to MLS, and it looks like the Chicago Fire have their man, according to sources. Due to Jose Mourinho shutting Schweinsteiger out of playing time, the longtime German international is set to join a list of European legends leaving a mark on the league. His name and legacy with Bayern Munich will make him a fan favorite in Chicagoland, too. From ESPNFC.com…

The German international has been frozen out by United manager Jose Mourinho this season and was even humiliated by being sent to train with the reserves before a reprieve this month, but a fresh start still appears unlikely at Old Trafford. [Schweinsteiger and Fire manager Veljko Paunovic] dined at an Italian restaurant in Cheshire and the 32-year-old, upon leaving, told photographers that he had “not heard anything about that,” when quizzed about whether the Red Devils would pay him off in January.

A source also confirmed that Chicago has Schweinsteiger’s discovery rights, which give it first priority among MLS sides to sign the Germany and former Bayern Munich legend. Schweinsteiger joined Manchester United in 2015 as part of Louis van Gaal’s attempt to reconstruct the club’s midfield. But he suffered through an injury-hit campaign, and made only 18 league appearances last season.

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Meanwhile, could Juninho, who made a name for himself leading the LA Galaxy to glory during the Bruce Arena era, be returning to MLS? Juninho is planning to return to the league but will most likely go through the allocation order in order to officially return to the competition.

MLSSoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal sheds more light on this…

He’s had a rougher go south of the border, appearing 14 times in the Clasura campaign in the first half of the year before only taking the field six times in the recently completed Apertura. His lone start in the Apertura came in the second leg of first-seeded Tijuana’s opening round playoff exit to Club Leon on Nov. 26, a match that saw the Brazilian earn a 16th-minute red card before Tijuana – who had a 3-0 halftime lead – gave up two late goals to drop the series 5-3 on aggregate.

When Juninho was sold to Tijuana, LA had three Designated Players on their roster and were preparing to use targeted allocation money to acquire defender Jelle Van Damme and midfielder Nigel de Jong and re-sign forward Gyasi Zardes to a new deal. Now, after de Jong’s midseason departure, the offseason exits of DPs Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard and the recent infusion of TAM, the Galaxy have plenty of money to play with, but they’d have to jump through some hoops if they want to re-acquire Juninho.

Because he was sold for a transfer fee greater than $500,000, Juninho would go through the allocation process if he returned to MLS. Atlanta will soon hold the first spot in the allocation order, though they’ll reportedly use that to sign goalkeeper Brad Guzan. That’d give fellow expansion club Minnesota the first crack at acquiring Juninho if he returned to the league, followed by Chicago, Houston and Columbus. LA will start at 17th in the league’s 2017 allocation order.

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However, the Galaxy have more important offseason matters, like finding better options on defense because their defense has cost them numerous results last yet. With Jermaine Jones already acquired, acquiring Juninho would be a boost but is not a necessity.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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