Football: Bayern's Lahm rues Schweinsteiger's Man Utd switch

Football: Bayern's Lahm rues Schweinsteiger's Man Utd switch
Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm.
PHOTO: Reuters

BERLIN - Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm says it is an "absolute pity" that Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is poised to join Manchester United after undergoing a medical on Sunday.

Bayern announced on Saturday that they had agreed a transfer fee with United for the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who is set to quit after 17 years to sign a three-year deal with the English club.

According to both the German and UK media, United will pay Bayern around £14m (S$29.35 million) and will see Schweinsteiger work again under former Bayern handler and presently Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

The English giants are reported to be eager to complete the deal soon so that Schweinsteiger can join them when they fly out on their north American tour on Monday.

Bayern meanwhile are left to contemplate life without their midfield dynamo.

"We have to simply respect and accept his (Schweinsteiger) decision. He's looking for a new challenge, but for me it's an absolute pity he is going, I have to say," said Lahm.

Having made 536 appearances for Bayern since his debut in 2002 as an 18-year-old, Schweinsteiger has won all there is to win in Germany.

Bayern's vice-captain collected his eighth Bundesliga winners medal last season and has lifted the German Cup on seven occasions.

He was a key figure in the 2013 treble-winning side which won the Champions League, league and cup crowns.

"He's a great player and there's no need to talk about him as a footballer," said Bayern's Brazil international Rafinha.

"He was a leader for us and everyone here is sad that he's going, but I hope he has a lot of success at Manchester United." Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski echoed Rafinha's sentiments by wishing his ex-team-mate "all the best" at United.

Despite his departure Munich will still be able to boast the likes of Spain stars Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez in their central midfield.

They have also signed Brazil winger Douglas Costa and Germany Under-19 midfield talent Joshua Kimmich for next season.

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