Schweinsteiger and Paunovic meet?

Speculation continues to circulate about where Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be heading once the January transfer window opens. The 32-year old veteran certainly isn’t in Jose Mourinho’s plans and MLS is in play as a possible landing spot.

Reports overseas indicate that Manchester United is preparing to buy-out the remainder of Schweinsteiger’s contract, which runs through June 2018. As reported here in August, the Fire hold a Discovery Claim on Schweinsteiger and would have first crack at signing him if he chooses to come to MLS. Other reports indicate that several US teams are interested in him.

The Express was able to track Schweinsteiger to a restaurant on Wednesday, where he sat for a four-hour meeting with an individual that wasn’t identified. Schweinsteiger didn’t answer questions about his future, but a closer look at the man he met with and listed by the Express as his “companion” for the lunch meeting is clearly Fire coach Veljko Paunovic.

Being in the same restaurant on the same day or even meeting for four hours doesn’t indicate that something will get done. The Fire won’t comment on players currently under contract but there seems to be more than just smoke in the air on this one.

3:00 pm – The Express has updated their piece to include identification of Paunovic and the Fire.

Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Is Schweinsteiger the answer for this team?

  • I think signing Schweinsteiger would be great for the Fire. He is a wonderful player who would be able to improve all of the players around him. He may not be the true beast he was several years ago, but I think he has a lot left to offer. I hope the Fire go for it and then AH sells the team.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Schweinstiger would help us build out of the back and he could also help grow and teach Matt Polster. I think I would be a part of the playoff team but we still ave to sign a clinical striker up top.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    My thoughts exactly!
    Btw, intriguing pic of Pauno, like he's in a hurry - skipping out on the bill, maybe?

  • Actually signing Schweini would indicate an interest in spending money. And attracting more positive attention to the team.

    Does talking to him mean anything? No. Do rumors of contacts indicate intent? No. Maybe Schweini left saying "wow, they want to pay me Burger King prices for Ruth's Chris steak... not so sure about that..."

    Does it make sense on the field? Open to speculation.

    AH, open the pocket book. NR, make this happen in a way that results in wins in 2017. Otherwise, my $$ is going elsewhere. Lots of places to spend it.

  • guys I have heard tons of english podcasts and they all say that this guy injuries very easily. The last thing we need is a DP to come in and get hurt. Whey not look south like Argentina for the same talent that other clubs have been able to find, If only NR would look within the MLS a la DC and sign three or four 27 year old guys that are use to the league then spice the club with say a very good Mexican midfielder he would hit a home run. This going to Somolia and Armenia for help is nothing but a waste of money.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I understand where you're coming from. Bastian might not be the best signing for us, but he would be a signing that mean the owner is trying to do something. Our scouts are clearly not good enough to be finding this hidden talent in SA and other places. That has been very clear in recent year. Signing Bastian, while might very well backfire, will mean that we are looking to make significant moves. He would be fantastic for Polster to learn from and be around. It would also free up Polster to just run all over the field and cover more space knowing that there is a capable player in there with him. Can't imagine he is able to play freely with Cocis in there next to him. I'm all for this signing.

  • Prediction: AH and NR will signal interest in Schweinsteiger in order to force other MLS teams to pay out for his Discovery rights. They then will pocket the money and bring in a few average players, claiming that it is all part of the 27-year process they are working on.

    I hope my prediction is wrong...

  • In reply to jrpaine:

    Sounds about right to me. I just hope someone says "Keane-like money" during the process. My bingo card will fill up quicker.

  • In reply to jrpaine:

    They probably will just end up getting TAM and GAM.

  • I'd say "why not?" The worst that can happen is that he gets injured and we get another wooden spoon. Given our starting point, if he stays healthy, with a few other high-caliber additions, we've plenty of upside potential.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    It should be a few other higher caliber additions because if this is N-Rod's "Giovinco Level" signing ownership has the funds for I will lose it.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Watch Nelson will turn them all into draft picks and TAM/GAM. What do we do with that money? No shit.

  • Guys There is no way a guy with this guys experience and success will ever play for the Chicago Fire. If Schweinsteige play in the MLS it will be with the Galaxy or NYFC next year. The Fire will come away with Tam and Gam and nothing else. I am really interested in where Accam will be playing next year. I saw the Ghana game and he was not on the team. Playing for the Fire has obviously hurt his exposure and chance to transfer to the Premier league. He should demand a move.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I don't know if I'd say playing for the fire has hurt his exposure. I would say his inability to grow as a player has. Sure Accam is fast and he knows how to dive in the box, but his dribbling skills aren't very good. He can't cross the ball in the air. He has a lot of deficiencies that he isn't working on. I'd say that hurts him more then playing for the fire. how many goals did he have this season? 8? 9? thats not a lot for someone who is supposedly "carrying the team". Just because we don't have other good offensive threats doesn't mean that Accam is that much better. Its just that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king....

  • In reply to edubs:

    I'm right there with you. Accam is a fine player. He is clearly our most dangerous player because we have players like Cocis and Harrington and other average USL players on our roster. We will miss him when he is gone because we will literally have nobody to run onto our endless long balls we play. Accam should demand a move, but it won't be to the prem because he is clearly not good enough for that.

    On a different note, Robbie Keane seems to be available. As much as he might be the opposite of the type of player we should be looking at, the guy scores goals in this league. He would be our best player by a lot and he is a clear leader. A type of leader that we haven't had since CJ and Armas. We need to win RIGHT NOW. Keane will most definitely help us do that. Bastian and Keane will definitely help us get to that illusive 32nd point we haven't seen in 2 years.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    From what I've been able to gather the mix-up with Ghana and Accam's latest call-up was not the Fire's fault.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So what's up with Rodrigo Ramos? Love to be hearing all these rumors. Even though I don't want lampard here it's pretty nice to hear the fire are "pursuing him" nah but seriously Bastian is the better fit right now. What do you think about the possibility of Keane coming to Chicago? He has guaranteed 10+ goals per season with the Galaxy so do you think he's good? I know the Fires bad midfield and scoring record but I think he will help us. I will only want him for a year if he were to come here.

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    I'm not sure I would want to pursue Keane. Your right that if we were to sign him, Only offer a 1 year contract. I agree that he would most likely be still an affective goal scorer with 10+ goals (probably closer to 15). The concern that I have with him though is that he isn't a future minded player. He's at a point in his career where he is year to year whether he is going to retire. That won't help for long term success. So its a really big price tag for a 1 year player for my taste.

    That being said, I would be excited to watch him play every game in a fire shirt :)

  • Say Fire pick up Schweini, give me list of strikers.

  • I am getting an inkling that the Schweinsteiger thing is legit. Of course, United will need to buy out the remainder of his contract which would be reason #1* for the Fire to fail to secure him. Reason #2 will be that the "player did not want to play in Chicago" i.e. he asked for more money than AH would pay. Reason #3 will be that the player had family commitments in Europe. Blah Blah Blah...I think I might be wrong, but my negative feelings for this owner are too strong to overcome any optimism I have.

    Is it true that "Schweinsteiger" translates to Hauptman out in ancient German?

    * "Reason" is Fire speak for "excuse." See press releases from 2007 to present.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    This is exactly what I was thinking this morning. It's difficult to imagine what would motivate AH to pull the trigger on Schweini that was not part of the Drogba or Jones deals.

    I think AH probably has NR forming a task force to determine whether they can support any more $2 hot dog nights with Schweini on the roster. Then when he realizes that he will no longer get that warm glow inside from watching peewee players gleefully munching on discount frankfurters, he pulls the plug.

  • In reply to Modibo:


  • In reply to Ahan Jain: go with those $2 beers!

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    OH YEAH.

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    We need 1.50$ Pizza night. Imagine how many people would come...

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    They need to do $2 tacos. I'd be all over that.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    What about 1$ lemonade night. Get drunk on lemonade!

  • In reply to BrianC.:


  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    I know the, $1.50 -
    HOT pizza, $7.50!

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    Hot dogs are 2$ but fresh hot dogs are 5$!

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    In reply to Modibo:

    lol, the visual this pained was great.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carl Miller:


  • GR why did you say that USMNT needs to fire the trainer and kit man asap?

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Those positions are obviously the determining factors in the success of a soccer team. ;)

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Yeah, I've been pulling for this ever since since the "Wondowlowski" screwup. Clearly these oafs have no idea how to go about their business and are undermining the entire team!

    And BTW, did anyone else notice how horrible the ball kids were in C'bus on Friday?!? US Soccer should go to their houses and take back their free tshirts. I bet they were trained by the kit guy!

  • In reply to Modibo:


  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    But what did they do wrong? Right now Klinnsman needs to go.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    It's a bit of a running joke--when the Fire cleaned house with the incoming NR administration, they cleaned out guys who had been with the Fire since the very beginning, including the kit guy. And of course, for us who believe in "TRADITION. Honor. Passion." Firing the kit guy made absolutely no sense.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    RIP Kit guy. No wonder the jerseys suck and are overpriced. he also fired Crandell for no reason.

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    In a way, he did Crandall a favor, along with Brendan Hannon (and probably many others.) They found greener pastures to grow and thrive in.

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    My 2 cents on this is that they know they are actively losing the fan base and that they have pretty much exhausted every excuse so they know that this time they need to throw everything they have at him to try to sign him. NR plays the fans as fools but he has gone on record too many times saying that they now have the funds to sign several big names in DPs and TAM players. If there isnt a internationally recognizable name on the roster come start of season, they know that attendance will drop off even more. Schweiney has just about dropped into their lap so whether or not he is the right fit, they will try to sign him and I see this deal as having a better shot at going through than most (although another scenario is that he refuses to sign for Chicago, so they send him to LA in exchange for a discounted Keane and think they came out ahead...). I think Schweinsteiger is a risk worth taking. At 32, plenty of euro-stars have come over and played really well. The question is more, "have all the injuries have just taken their toll." Its a gamble but a gamble worth taking as long as they use that GAM/TAM to sign 1 or 2 more solid CMs since best case scenario, he plays maybe 80% of games. He also adds that veteran presence to the locker room and younger players will learn a lot from him as others have mentioned. The problem I see, is that if Chicago lands him, my guess is that will be just about the extent of the spending spree. They will figure his signature alone will be enough to give the illusion that they have gone out and broke the bank. There my be 1 or 2 other decent signings but the rest will be very average MLS players at best when the roster as is, needs 5, 6 or 7 very solid signings.
    Other options for central midfield (I can dream) that have less than a year on their contract include: Santi Cazorla (hinted he is likely to not renew with arsenal), Yaya Toure, and Lucas Leiva. You can also add Huntelaar to the list of players who have less than a year on their contract.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Hear hear. I will never say that Arne Friedrich was a bad signing. Ever. That man's worth ethic was admirable and enviable.

  • What are the chances they get Oribe Peralta? That would be a huge PR and on-field boost.

  • In reply to Doug:

    How about two Club America teammates. Striker Oribe Peralta and captain MF Rubens Sambueza. I love Sambueza's game. The man has a magic left foot. Both these guys are relatively young at 32.

  • In reply to go fire:

    You know one player can't make a difference according to N-Rod, what do you think 2 players will do according to the all knowing N-Rod? ;)

  • I would take that.

  • All the players mentioned above would be good signings even though I think Cazorla is a glorified pest, he would be our pest. I think the consensus is that serious signings are necessary. I would also stress that the players from this year's team cannot be completely wiped out. A few need to go (Harrington comes to mind) but others need to stay for continuity. The key to success in MLS is continuity of core players both the stars and the supporting cast. You cannot hang onto 8 guys and expect to compete. They need to hang into 18-20 guys, bring in several star players, and then slowly turnover the guys who are not up to snuff. NR may think this is rocket science, but it really isn't as this us the blue print every team in MLS is using. The difference is that the Fire no longer have the cream of the crop in local youth club talent. THey need to build a state of the art training facility that is not at TP. Build it along 294 anywhere from Western Springs to O'Hare so that both first team players and youth teams can get there easily. Build a first class facility with 10 fields and a dome, training facilities, locker rooms, coach offices, parent lounge/restaurant, and if possible a high school dorm so kids from Wisconsin and Indiana can live here.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Wait. Doesn't all that cost money?
    Curses! Foiled again.

  • In reply to Doug:

    What doesn't cost money these days...

  • In reply to Krasov:

    It would be nice to have a owner who loves soccer and runs a club to win versus an owner who loves a good investment and runs a club to maintain a legitimate exit point.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Hauptman is not a fan.

    Again I will use the Cubs for example. While Tom Rickets went to University of Chicago he went to lots of Cubs games. He fell in love with the Cubs and Wrigley Field. He started loving baseball more and more and he wanted the team to be good. Like most of us he truly deep down in his heart had a passion for the team, for baseball, and for the Cubs in general.

    So when he bought the Cubs he was a fan and really wanted them to be a good team. He wanted them to win the World Series ever since he went to the his first Cubs game. He was a big fan of the team and deep down in his heart he really wanted them to be good.

    So now back to Andrew Hauptman. What was he? He was a rich business mogel who makes movies. He bought the Fire because we were an MLS powerhouse and because he could. I bet he never fell in love with soccer and he probably has never been in the Harlem End. He only cared about making money of the Fire and not making them a good soccer team.

    Needless to say if one of us were to be the owner of the Fire we would make them great again. Why? Because we have a passion for soccer, the team, and the club. In our hearts we really will want them to win an MLS Cup.


  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Not that I disagree with your statements about hauptman not appearing to be a fan of soccer. But, I have actually seen hauptman at a Fire Game. There was a game I went to last year summer which had a reserves game right after it. I stayed with some friends to watch it and Hauptman and Yallop were sitting a few rows down from us discussing whatever it was they were discussing. This doesn't mean that he is more involved then what people think, just that maybe he's not as absentee as people believe. Maybe he just really sucks at soccer and doesn't understand as much as he thinks he does...

  • In reply to edubs:

    Maybe he's passionate about wanting to see them win without it costing him anything.

  • In reply to edubs:

    Maybe it was 2$ hot dog night and he wanted some hot dogs... :)

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    I DO NOT disagree with AH out.
    AH cant compare the Lovable Losers of the Northside to the Fire. They have a long history, a historic ballpark,a neighborhood that revolves around the team with property values that have skyrocketed. We have 20 yrs, some hardware, a new but generic already outdated stadium surrounded by a trailer park and a few "harsh" bars. I think AH is trying to model our our Fire based on the Cubs model but it just isnt there. Hey AH, its not the same , it isnt going to work, we are not going to come because you built it to see this crap.

  • Going into 2017 they are basically rebuilding the team again. So far 10 players that are under contract. That means at least 15 players need to be added. You cannot have any success let alone sustained success with that kind of player turnover.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    100% agreed. I think they will bring back a good number of the unsigned players. It is a money question.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    They will have another rturnover which is bad. They just need to bring in a few key players. A club naval striker and a attacking central midfielder.

  • Ha ha ha! That report on about Lampard potentially going to Chicago was a joke. The author suggested that NR might sign BOTH Lampard and Schweini...

    Instant lack of credibility. There is NO way that the Fire EVER sign both of them.

    In fact, I'm quite comfortable predicting that they'll sign neither and offer up a moderately successful player from a midtable team in a mid-level league (I predict Turkey) and trumpet it as a big deal. Said player will then (fill in the blank: never fit in with the other players on the field / become a locker room cancer / barely see the field due to injuries / have personal issues that cut short the season / perform an unspeakable act on $2 hot dog night that will require censorship of all subsequent Fire broadcasts) and join the long line of failures since 2007.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I vote this gets best rant of 2016!

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Does that unspeakable act involving a $2 hot dog involve catsup?

  • I am looking forward to catching some of the conference finals this week. I think one of the best experiences I ever had as a Fire fan was attending the second leg of the conference semi-finals against New England. When Blanco scored to win the two leg semi final, I have never seen a Fire crowd more energetic or our of control in euphoria. My now 20 year old son was with me. He still recalls that game. How can we go from that status to where we are now? This has to be the saddest most poorly run team in all of MLS.

    MLS owners, it is better for your investment and the league to force Hauptman out. A great Fire team means a great league! Force him out so the league can succeed!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    You know, it's oft stated that most businesses fail for being under capitalized (lack of $ for investment and tough times.)

    Repeat after me: "The Single Entity League saved the Chicago Fire"

  • Did anybody REALLY think Klinsmann wasn't finished? The real question was who will emerge to replace him.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Maybe I'm biased because i don't like LA, but I'm not excited about Arena as an option

  • In reply to AJties:

    He is the best one we've got wait. #veljkopaunovjcforusmnt

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    In reply to AJties:

    Too Bad, this is a down grade, Arena is highly over rated, his record given the money and talent he had at LA is a joke. If he was that good he'd be overseas. Klinsmann will find a great job in no time, much quicker than Arena would if he was fired.
    Bring back Bradley.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    I agree completely

  • In reply to Arklow:

    to be honest, I didn't think he was going to get fired after these loses. There were some bad loses that he deserved to be fired over (Gold Cup). But I didn't think the team played poorly against mexico, and playing in Costa Rica is a hard place to win. We are still going to make it to Russia even with these two losses.

    I'm guessing he must have really lost the faith of the guys in the locker room and they finally got to Gulati to fire Klinsmann. I honestly thought that Klinsmann was going to be Gulati's wet dream all the way to Russia for how unwavering Gulati has been in his support of Klinsmann. Well I guess this is just one more thing I was terribly wrong about. LOL.

  • In reply to edubs:

    He should have been fired after the Gold Cup. We just lost a game in CONCACAF 4-0. If that is not reason enough, I don't know what is. There has only been one other team to lose the first 2 games of the Hex and that was T&T. We can now not afford to drop points anymore. We havent played well in over a year. Klinsmann treated the media and supporters like they dont know what soccer is. CONCACAF has evolved and every team has improved except for us. It was time for him to go.

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