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Much in demand

Schweinsteiger deal a priority for FCB board

Before the start of Tuesday’s Annual General Meeting, Bastian Schweinsteiger handed out countless autographs to fans gathered at the Olympic Hall in Munich. As it happens, the club is just as keen to secure an example of the player’s signature. The 26-year-old was jeered at last year’s AGM, but a year has made a world of difference. He was much in demand on Tuesday, both in the audience and also on the stage, where the FCB board committed to do everything humanly possible to bind the midfielder to the club for the long term.

“Let me make this absolutely clear: our goal is to agree a long-term contract extension with Bastian Schweinsteiger,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to a storm of applause from the 2,807 members attending the meeting. “And we’ve agreed with Louis van Gaal that Bastian will not under any circumstances be allowed to leave until his contract ends.”

Vital component in team success

Schweinsteiger’s current deal with Germany’s most successful club expires on 30 June 2012. The Bavarian native has been at the Säbener Strasse since 1998, winning the German U-17 and U-19 championships with FCB and earning a pro contract, before collecting a string of honours including five domestic doubles, and appearing in last term’s Champions League final. Unsurprisingly, he has been linked with a host of Europe’s biggest clubs.