Gary Neville ‘stunned’ as Bastian Schweinsteiger reveals ‘illegal’ treatment under Jose Mourinho at Man Utd

Bastian Schweinsteiger joined Man Utd from Bayern Munich in 2015   (Getty Images)
Bastian Schweinsteiger joined Man Utd from Bayern Munich in 2015 (Getty Images)

Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed Jose Mourinho banished him from the Manchester United first-team and made him train with the Under-16s for three months without explanation.

The former Germany international and World Cup winner won eight Bundesliga titles and the Champions League with Bayern Munich across a 13-year spell when he joined Manchester United in 2015, who were then managed by Louis van Gaal.

Mourinho replaced Van Gaal in the summer of 2016 but Schweinsteiger said he was ignored by Mourinho after returning to pre-season from the European Championship that summer and was banished from the first-team squad on his birthday.

Schweinsteiger told Gary Neville on the Overlap Podcast that he initially thought Mourinho’s decision was a “joke” - with former United captain Neville admitting that he was “stunned” and “embarrassed” by the revelation and claiming the way Schweinsteiger was treated was “illegal”.

Schweinsteiger, who left the club to join Chicago Fire in MLS the following March, told Neville of the day he was sent away to train with the teenagers: “When I walked into Carrington, [football director] John Murtough was there and said that I wasn’t allowed to walk into the dressing room, the coach [Mourinho] had said so.

“No warning, nothing. I don’t know. Someone could have told me there, or explained it to me in a normal way, but okay, I went to the youth dressing room and trained with the Under-16’s. Yes, completely [kicked me out of the first team dressing room].

“I then had a meeting with him [José Mourinho] in the afternoon. He explained to me that he didn’t see me happy here at United because when I had my injury, I did my rehab with German doctors, spending time in Germany.

“Of course, I came back to United and was in contact with doctors and watched the games – I had a conversation with Louis van Gaal when he was coach, and he said to come on the weekends to United and remain in contact with the doctors, they needed me fit and there was an FA Cup final which I almost played.

“That was our agreement and I kept to it. For me, I just wanted to get healthy and wanted to be able to play – I stuck to the agreement with Louis van Gaal but obviously the board thought a little differently about that.

“It was just me [that got moved to the youth dressing room]. After that, I was training alone for at least three months with a fitness coach. I trained before and after the team.

“I guess they wanted to get rid of me. At that moment, I was still super happy at United, I loved to wear the jersey, I loved it. I was thinking that maybe it was just a period, I will train now and keep myself fit and maybe one day they’ll change their mind. My dream was to always step back out into Old Trafford.”

Schweinsteiger said he was “very sad” with how he was treated by Mourinho while Neville claimed it was “illegal”.

“I was the PFA Union Representative, and you’re not allowed to do that,” Neville said. “You can’t dismiss someone like that, it’s constructive dismissal in some ways.

“It’s probably a few years too late, you should have come and seen me at the time.

“I’m stunned and embarrassed at what I’m hearing because I always think, players leave clubs and people fall out, but there is a way to do things and a way to behave and act.”