Morgan Schneiderlin has signed for Manchester United in a deal worth £24m.
The Frenchman has put pen-to-paper on a four year deal with an option of a fifth, after joining from fellow Premier League side Southampton.
After seeing a £20m bid rejected three weeks ago, and the pursuit of Bastian Schweinsteiger, many believed the hunt for Schneiderlin was over.
But the Schweinsteiger deal had no bearing on negotiations, with timescales for Matteo Darmian and the German ultimately the priority due to their respected side’s pre-season plans.
This deal has been timed well, allowing Schneiderlin to join his new teammates on the tour to the U.S., with the 25-year-old sneaking into Carrington five minutes after Schweinsteiger on Sunday, at around 18:30 BST, to undergo a medical.
Having joined Southampton at the age of 18, he is very familiar with English football, boasting three full seasons in the Premier League after their 2012 promotion, and being an ever-present in the Saints’ side that has finished a respectable 14th, 8th and 7th on their return to the top flight for the first time since 2005.
His performance in a 1-1 at Old Trafford in September 2013 was what first got the United scouts interested, and with a French national team call-up to follow shortly after, he has made nine appearances for France since, including one in last summer’s World Cup.
Due to being in England for five years before he featured for France, it is important to note that Schneiderlin classes as a homegrown player.
His Premier League experience will be vital to United’s midfield, with his age, height and calmness on the ball key factors in why Louis van Gaal has brought him to the Old Trafford.
Schneiderlin, at 25, will be seen as the long-term replacement for Michael Carrick, whilst also creating competition for places in what has been a highly criticised area of the field at United in recent times, with Sir Alex Ferguson not signing a central midfielder after Owen Hargreaves arrived in 2007, leaving David Moyes to end that streak in the summer of 2013 with the addition of Marouane Fellaini.
But the midfield overhaul is now complete, with Schneiderlin joining Carrick, Fellaini and Schweinsteiger, as well as Daley Blind, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera in what will now be a highly-contested midfield battle for places going forward.
We welcome Schneiderlin and wish him all the best and we look forward to seeing him and the other new signings in action on tour.