The 31-year-old is yet to return to pre-season training under Mourinho after being handed an extended summer break following Germany’s run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals in France earlier this month.
But when he reports back at Old Trafford later this month, the former Bayern Munich player is likely to find himself behind Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin in the midfield pecking order, as well as the world-class midfielder that Mourinho is pursuing – Juventus’s Paul Pogba remains the priority target – before the transfer window closes on August 31.
And with Dutch international Daley Blind being deployed in a holding midfield role by Mourinho during United’s pre-season friendly defeat against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday, Schweinsteiger’s prospects may become even bleaker if the former Ajax player is restored to the midfield department after performing at centre-half under Louis van Gaal last season.
Schweinsteiger started just 13 Premier League games for United last term after arriving in a £5m transfer from Bayern last summer.
Despite his lofty reputation, Schweinsteiger struggled to make an impact under Van Gaal and he ended the campaign with team-mates unhappy at his contribution in the second half of the season, when his absence from the club during rehabilitation from a knee injury prompted the belief that he was being afforded special treatment by Van Gaal.
Manchester United summer transfer targets
Paul Pogba, Juventus
Despite letting him go on Sir Alex Ferguson’s watch in 2012, United are desperate to land Juventus star Paul Pogba. It may yet take a world record fee of £100m to lure the 23-year-old away from Turin, however, but Jose Mourinho has made his intentions to sign world-class players known this summer. The Portuguese will hope Pogba can replicate the sort of form which has helped him scored 23 goals in 124 appearances in Serie A.
Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain
There have been conflicting reports over United’s interest in Matuidi. Initially, it was thought he was a back-up option should United fail in their attempt to sign Pogba, though some have since suggested that Mourinho is keen on bringing both players to the club.
Hirving Lozano, Pachuca
Young Pachuca forward Hirving Lozano might not sell a mass of shirts immediately, if indeed he does sign, the 20-year-old is considered one of the most exciting talents in world football. Nicknamed ‘Chunky’, Lozano is capped seven times for Mexico despite his tender age, having scored 21 goals in 91 senior appearances for Pachuca.
Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid
Having signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in June, United remain on the lookout for cover in attacking positions with a move for Alvaro Morata seeming likely. The Spaniard was in fine form for his country at Euro 2016 this summer before it was announced that Real Madrid had utilised a buy-back clause in his Juventus contract. That isn’t the end of matters, though, with the Spanish giants planning to sell Morata on immediately for profit.
James Rodriguez, Real Madrid
After seeing little game time under Zinedine Zidane at Madrid, another name to be thrown into the Old Traffor mix is that of James Rodriguez. The Columbian superstar was even relegated to the La Liga B side on occasions as he fell quite spectacularly down the pecking order in the Spanish capital. While Paris Saint-Germain remains his most likely destination, with reports suggesting a fee has been agreed, don’t rule out a late counter offer from United.
N’Golo Kante, Leicester City
It seems everyone has been linked with Leicester City’s midfield maestro N’Golo Kante this summer. The Frenchman made a name for himself during the Foxes’ remarkable march to the Premier League title in 2016 following a low-key £5.6m transfer from Caen the previous summer. Kante is both combative and industrious, refusing to let up until possession is won back. While the champions may be keen to keep their little midfield star, the presence of a release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium means a move away remains entirely possible.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
In a surprise rumour, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was linked with a switch to the North West. The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Wales at Euro 2016 this summer but it remains to be seen if the Gunners would be willing to entertain an approach from one of their main titles for the Premier League throne. Ramsey is reportedly frustrated at the levels of competition in the centre at the Emirates but it is unlikely United would be able to offer a firmer guarantee of first-team football.
Will Hughes, Derby County
Many thought Hughes may have missed his chance to make a big-money move away from the iPro Stadium when he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool last summer. The young Englishman remains one of the most promising players outside the top flight despite being unable to inspire Derby to promotion from the Championship. The East Midlands outfit are likely to demand an inflated transfer fee for their midfield wizard too but United have shown in the past that money is usually no object.
His lack of mobility was also regarded as an issue within the club and, with Mourinho determined to boost the fitness and athleticism of his squad, Schweinsteiger faces a crucial period when he returns to United in order to persuade the new manager that he can make a significant contribution this season.
The World Cup winner is not the only player needing to convince Mourinho of his value to the club, however.
Holland winger Memphis Depay, Argentine defender Marcos Rojo, Belgian winger Adnan Januzaj and Juan Mata, sold by Mourinho at Chelsea, all have points to prove to the new manager.
And while the Portuguese has been an admirer of Phil Jones, the defender has to convince the manager of his ability to remain fit enough to challenge for a place at centre-half alongside Chris Smalling and summer signing Eric Bailly.
Rojo’s inconsistency and concentration levels proved a concern for Van Gaal and his coaching team and the former Sporting Lisbon defender did little to banish those questions marks during an erratic substitute performance during the 4-1 defeat against Dortmund.
Depay was withdrawn at half-time after a poor first-half display against the Germans and the £25m signing from PSV Eindhoven has yet to persuade Mourinho of his potential, with Januzaj also needing to offer more evidence of talent to the former Chelsea manager.
Mourinho has moved to reassure Mata that he will be in his plans at United having sanctioned his £37.1m move to Old Trafford from Chelsea in January 2014, but the Spaniard’s prospects have been affected by the £26.3m arrival of Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with Mourinho also preparing to use captain Wayne Rooney in the number 10 role favoured by Mata.
Rooney, meanwhile, is expected to make his first appearance for Mourinho on Monday when United conclude their two-game tour of China with an International Champions Cup encounter with Manchester City in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium.
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