- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) - While Bastian Schweinsteiger may be new to English soccer, he’s quite aware of what he’s getting into with Louis van Gaal as his manager at Manchester United.

This isn’t the first time their paths have crossed. Schweinsteiger played nearly two seasons at Bayern Munich with van Gaal as his manager before van Gaal was fired near the end of the 2011 season.

“We know each other. We had a great time there,” Schweinsteiger said Wednesday. “It was very good for my development. We won titles.”

Schweinsteiger spoke two days before he likely will make his Manchester United debut when it begins a preseason tour of the United States against Mexico’s Club America on Friday night in Seattle.

Schweinsteiger, midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and defender Matteo Darmian were all formally introduced by the club on Wednesday, the three main pieces of United’s offseason makeover that also included the signing of Dutch winger Memphis Depay and the departure of striker Robin van Persie.

Van Gaal said it was important to have his new additions along with the club for its U.S. tour.

“I’m very happy because in my opinion they are all very good players,” van Gaal said. “We can prepare now in the tour all the things I want to implement with the new players.”

This journey to England is a new chapter for the Schweinsteiger, the German captain. He spent his entire club career with Bayern Munich until signing a three-year deal with United and making the jump from the Bundesliga to the Premier League.

Schweinsteiger has done it all in his career, winning domestic and European club titles, and claiming the World Cup title last summer in Brazil.

So what’s left?

“Of course it’s a new stage in my life. I want to win titles. That’s easy and what I’m used to,” Schweinsteiger said. “That’s the goal for next year’s team.”

The 30-year-old Schweinsteiger scored 45 goals and set up 70 more in 342 league games for Bayern. He joined the club’s youth sides from Rosenheim in 1998 and went on to win the Bundesliga a joint-record eight times, matching former club stalwarts Mehmet Scholl and Oliver Kahn.

“It’s a good challenge for me,” Schweinsteiger said of moving to the Premier League. “I want to give my impact here and make (it) a positive one.”

His signing was the highlight of an offseason where United focused on bolstering its midfield. Schneiderlin was brought in after spending seven years at Southampton and watching the club grow from lower division to being a steady Premier League participant.

Schneiderlin was linked to a number of clubs, but he never questioned where he was headed.

“When I learned Manchester United was interested there was no other choice,” Schneiderlin said.

Darmian came from Torino in Italy and van Gaal sees him as an upgrade as an outside defender with the ability to push forward into the attack when needed.

There are still questions about United’s attack with the Premier League opener against Tottenham less than a month away, especially after the departure of van Persie, who moved to Fenerbache. Van Gaal said he was clear with van Persie at the end of last season that he would be moving on from United and was happy with his decision to join the Turkish club.

“I had already communicated at the end of the season and he knew already what was coming,” van Gaal said. “I think he made a very good choice.”



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