Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned from exile, and has returned to training with the first team at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese tactician said the recall from exile is to help make up the numbers during training, and get himself ready for a recall or move from the club. The former Germany international did not join the rest of the team to Istanbul as he was left off the squad for the Europa League for the group stages.
The 32-year old has been training personally and with the club’s under 23 since his exile from the elite team. Mourinho tried to offload him during the summer but the player’s refusal to leave angered the coach. This led Mourinho to banish him from the team. The former Chelsea’s boss actions drew serious condemnation from Bayern Munich stars and past and current German internationals.
Michael Ballack, a Bayern Munich legend, openly condemned the coach for the treatment meted out to the player. Current Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer voiced his concerns as well. Ilkay Gundogan, Man City playmaker joined in condemning Mourinho’s action, labeling it “disrespectful.”
“Schweinsteiger is back. We made that decision last Thursday and informed him on Friday so he would join the team on Monday. It’s a decision based on the fact that we are in a period in the season when it’s really difficult to train with everybody together.
“So the tactical work I like to do with 21 players – 23 or 24 maximum – doesn’t happen because the day after we play, the players who played train in a separate group and the group becomes 13 or 14. With injuries, it becomes 10 and 11,” Mourinho explained.
“Looking at Bastian and the way he is working professionally every day with a fitness coach, we think it’s a human decision, a professional decision to bring him back to the team. He will be much better prepared and in condition, in case his future decision to leave the club he will be prepared to go to competition,” Mourinho added.