Bastian Schweinsteiger could leave Bayern Munich this summer – but only if the midfielder puts in a formal transfer request to exit the Allianz Arena.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly looked into the possibility of signing Schweinsteiger last summer, only to be knocked back by the Bavarian giants.
Those rumours have resurfaced amid suggestions that Bayern boss Pep Guardiola will allow the player to leave if he desires.
While the 30 year old recently refused to discuss reports of a move to Old Trafford, Bayern CEO Karl Heinz-Rummenigge was asked about the midfielder's future by Sports Bild newspaper, telling the publication: "I do not know if the story has weight, but from our point of view it is clear: We would only consider a transfer if Schweinsteiger were to confront us with a concrete wish. That is not the case at the moment."
Van Gaal previously managed the Germany international at Bayern during his two seasons at the club between 2009 and 2011 and was credited with helping Schweinsteiger, then a winger by trade, evolve into one of Europe's most formidable midfielders.
The Dutchman explained at the end of the season he is looking to add at least one midfielder to his ranks. Michael Carrick played a pivotal role in the manager's set up but a season hampered by injury means the club need more options.
"No.6 is a key player, yes. I have more key roles – the no.6 is just one of those key roles," van Gaal said in May. "You have seen this season, for example, because Michael Carrick is injured and I don't have another, I have to play with Ander Herrera there. He did it very well, but it is not his speciality.
"I have played Wayne Rooney there also, but it is not his favoured position. I had to do this because I don't have another right-footed holding midfielder like Carrick. That is why it is a key role, but I cannot discuss other positions because then I show too much."