Manchester United’s treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger is “disrespectful” and “perverse”, according to two rival players.
Schweinsteiger was signed by Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2015, but struggled with injuries and form in his first season at the club.
Jose Mourinho succeeded Van Gaal in the managerial hotseat in May, and the Portuguese quickly froze the German out from the first team.
A world and European champion for club and country, former Bayern Munich midfielder Schweinsteiger is now training with United’s youth players, and has been informed that he is free to leave the club for no fee.
Manchester City midfielder and compatriot Ilkay Gundogan believes the treatment is unfair.
“I believe that Manchester United could 100 percent benefit from a fit Bastian Schweinsteiger,” he told Sport Bild.
“If everything you hear and read is true, you can consider it disrespectful. He’s not just some player, and also not only 18 or 19.”
Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker, another former Germany international, added that Schweinsteiger has been the victim of “bad luck”, but that United’s handling of the situation has been “perverse”.
“It’s bad luck for him that he joined a club that has again changed its manager, and that the new manager does not want him,” he told kicker. “It can happen to you at any time in this business, and it’s a bit perverse, but Basti signed a good contract, and he knew where he was going.
“He just had bad luck with the way it worked out. He will draw his conclusions and I wish him all the best.”