Bastian Schweinsteiger says farewell to Bayern Munich fans ahead of Man United move
Bastian Schweinsteiger has bid farewell to Bayern Munich fans in a statement and video posted to Twitter ahead of his move to Manchester United.
The Germany captain is set to join the Premier League club upon the successful completion of a medical and said goodbye to the supporters who have followed him in Munich for the past 17 years.
"Hi dear Bayern fans, and the South Stand in Munich," Schweinsteiger said in a Twitter video. "I know that has been a lot of speculation about my future in recent weeks and months and I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic time we spent together.
"It started in the Olympiastadion and continued into the Allianz Arena. It was a really fantastic time and we experienced some great moments with 15 national titles, including the historic treble and other highlights.
"We are always going to have a bond and I will keep you in my heart forever.
"I also want to thank all the employees at the Sabener Strasse (training ground) for the great time we had together - unfortunately I can't name everybody, but thanks for everybody, you helped me a great deal.
"I hope you, dear fans, understand that I have chosen this path now. I think it's a great challenge and I'm looking forward to it, although I will never forget you.
"I will always hold you here [in my heart] and I hope we see each other again soon. Yours, Basti."
The 30-year-old midfielder added in a written statement: "The decision was very hard to make because you and FCB have and always will be an extremely important part of my life.
"Nevertheless, I would like to again gain experience at a new club.
"My destination is Manchester United. I hope you understand my decision. No one can take away the incredible journey we had together. #MiaSanMia."
Schweinsteiger, who will become the first German to play for United's first team, will leave behind a sizeable gap in Bayern's squad by leaving the Allianz Arena.
He has been on the Bavarian club's books for 17 years and won eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokals and the Champions League with Bayern among other successes.
Bayern defender Philipp Lahm told Sport1 television: "It's a pity that our paths are now dividing. We've been through so much together so it really is a shame.
"We played football together for the first time when we were 16. We're going to miss him.
"Anybody who knows him knows that he is always looking for challenges so we've got to accept his decision."
Forward Thomas Muller, who has also been linked with a move to United, added: "It's strange that Basti's gone. He's done sensationally for this club.
"He's not going to be forgotten in a rush. I wish him a lot of luck. This is how things work in football."
Meanwhile, former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson described Schweinsteiger as "top drawer" and a "true leader of men" who can drive the Red Devils back to the top.
Robson, 58, told The Sun: "Schweinsteiger is the kind of player and personality United have been short of.
"There is Michael Carrick, of course, who has that same experience and knowledge. When he was not playing last season, we saw that United were not the same team.
"Schweinsteiger is absolutely top drawer and his record and reputation speak for themselves.
"He is the kind of player that can lead United back to the very top."