The Malta Independent 13 July 2015, Monday

Manchester United sign midfielders Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin

Associated Press Monday, 13 July 2015, 15:59 Last update: about 4 hours ago

Manchester United accelerated its recruitment drive this offseason by signing Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and France international Morgan Schneiderlin on Monday, as the team revamps its midfield.

Having already brought in Italy right back Matteo Darmian and Netherlands winger Memphis Depay, United has reportedly spent 40 million pounds ($62 million) on a pair of central midfielders.

United manager Louis van Gaal oversaw a spending spree of about 150 million pounds (then $250 million) last summer as the 20-time English champions looked to recover their lofty status after a woeful season under David Moyes in 2013-14, when the team finished seventh.

And United is spending big again a year later. Schweinsteiger signed a three-year deal for a reported 15 million pounds ($23 million) after leaving Bayern Munich, where he spent the first 17 years of his career. British media are reporting Schneiderlin will cost about 25 million pounds ($39 million), after he signed a four-year contract with the option of another year.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bayern Munich, it has been an incredible journey and I didn't take the decision to leave lightly," said Schweinsteiger, who won the German title eight times and the Champions League with the Bundesliga giants. "Manchester United is the only club that I would have left Munich for."

Schweinsteiger will provide United with experience and leadership in midfield and will be reunited with Van Gaal, who previously coached Bayern.

Schneiderlin is less well known. He joined Southampton from French club Strasbourg in 2008 and spent years in the English lower leagues. He has played nine times for France.

"Once I learned that United were interested in signing me, it was a very easy decision to make," Schneiderlin said.

Michael Carrick was United's main central midfielder last season, although he had injury problems. Van Gaal often resorted to using striker and captain Wayne Rooney as a midfielder.

Van Gaal is expected to also sign at least one striker this offseason, having released Radamel Falcao after a season-long loan and with Robin van Persie set to join Fenerbahce in Turkey.

That leaves United with just two genuine strikers, Rooney and youngster James Wilson.

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