Bastian Schweinsteiger
Schweinsteiger is now facing a three-match ban.Getty

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association. Schweinsteiger, 31, appeared to elbow West Ham United's Winston Reid in the 40th minute of their Premier League match at Old Trafford on Saturday 5 December.

The incident was not seen the match officials but was clearly picked up on video. The former Bayern Munich midfielder could now face a three-match ban.

A statement from the FA read: "The matter was referred to a panel of three former elite referees who each reviewed the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they considered it a sending-off offence.

"For an FA charge to follow the decision by the panel must be unanimous. The player has until 12pm on Thursday 10 December 2015 to reply to the charge."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said of the incident: "It was a moment of madness. He deserved to be sent off, but the referee told me he didn't see it. Fair enough, I believe it. It was an elbow."

Should Schweinsteiger be charged, his suspension will cause problems for manager Louis van Gaal as United are already without injured midfielders Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin with the busy festive period looming.

Schneiderlin was forced off with a hip problem in the goalless draw with West Ham and was left out of the United squad that travelled to Germany for their pivotal Champions League group game against Wolfsburg.

Herrera, meanwhile, has not played since the 2-1 win over Watford in November where he suffered a hamstring problem and was also omitted from the 19-man squad for Tuesday's match.