Bastian Schweinsteiger remains hopeful he can still realise his “absolute dream” of helping Manchester United to glory this season.
The 32-year-old German has been frozen out of Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans at Old Trafford and earlier this month said he was prepared to leave United – and Europe – before the transfer deadline.
Mourinho insisted it would be “very difficult” to afford the midfielder any playing time in 2016-17 but while he is on the books Schweinsteiger is ready to step into the breach should the need arise.
“Of course my absolute dream would be to play for Manchester United and help them reach the goals they have,” the former Germany captain said at a press conference in Dusseldorf on Tuesday.
“Of course we have had talks and I have no problem with Jose Mourinho. We had a good chat and he told me his side of things and I also know what I want.
“We’ve got to wait and see how things go in September and October, but there is respect between us and that’s important for me.
“I’m certainly not going to stop playing football.”
Schweinsteiger, a World Cup winner with Germany who won the Champions League with former club Bayern Munich, has missed his chance to move to MLS but would consider crossing the Atlantic in the future.
He said: “The transfer window is closed in the USA so I’m not going there now.
“It’s my dream still to play for Manchester United and if I get a fair chance, I believe in it.
“I played in the semi-finals of the European Championship as part of the world champions’ team, and I believe in my ability and dream of helping United.
“I think up to my suspension last year, things were going well for me, then I had two unfortunate injuries.
“But as I said, it’s my absolute dream and goal (to play for United again), but we’ve got to see what the situation is. The USA is certainly an option, should it come to that.”
Schweinsteiger is adamant his exile from the United first team does not represent the lowest point in a career which has been beset by injuries and the occasional setback at the highest level.
“Despite this situation, I’m feeling fine,” he added. “I think the Champions League final (defeat to Chelsea in 2012) in Munich was harder to get over.
“I am more mature now and know how to deal with certain situations in football. It’s not all about highs, there are also lows but I can deal with it.
“Football is a hard business.”