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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Louis van Gaal 'had to convince' Man United to sign Schweinsteiger

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said he had to convince the club to buy midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich in the summer.

Van Gaal -- who backed Schweinsteiger to get back to his best after a patchy start to his Old Trafford career -- told United's official website he had needed to make the case for the Germany international because of his age.

He said: "Manchester United has bought him even though he is now 31, so I had to convince the board to buy him because he's a very good player and he always gives a team more balance." 

World Cup winner Schweinsteiger, who has suffered injuries in a disappointing season for United, has sat out the last seven games with knee problems.

But Van Gaal said he felt it would not be long before he was back to his best.

"Bastian has been unlucky because he picked up an injury at a time that he was playing very well -- he was improving," he said.

"However, during December I said that I expect more and he was disappointed I said that, but I think I can say that because my expectation is higher.

"He played very well at Wolfsburg [in the Champions League] and then began to reach the level he showed at Munich -- I think he can [get back to that level]."

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