ORLANDO, Fla. – Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez is confident that the club will re-sign midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, telling MLSsoccer.com on Friday morning that he thinks the club is “very close” to finalizing a new deal for the German legend.
Schweinsteiger, 33, left Manchester United to sign a season-long deal with the Fire last March. He was a critical piece in Chicago’s 2017 turnaround, recording three goals and six assists in 24 regular season games to help the club finish third in the Supporters’ Shield standings after consecutive last-place finishes in 2015 and 2016.
MLSsoccer.com reported earlier this month that the Fire, who announced on Thursday that they extended midfielder Dax McCarty’s contract, and Schweinsteiger are discussing a contract for 2018 with a club option for 2019.
“We remain optimistic and we think we’re very close to finalizing his return,” Rodriguez said. “I hope that Basti and his folks don’t see that as an attempt to negotiate publicly. ... I’ve learned that until all the documents are signed nothing’s ever truly done, but I believe that he’ll be back.”
Rodriguez also told MLSsoccer.com that the Fire have offered a Homegrown contract to University of North Carolina sophomore midfielder Cam Lindley.
A semifinalist for the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy given to the top player in college soccer, Lindley had a stellar season at UNC. The attacker recorded seven goals and 13 assists in 22 games and was named the ACC Midfielder of the Year and First Team All-ACC. The 20-year-old Indiana native led the Chicago U-18s to the US Soccer Development Academy national championship in 2015.
Unlike recent Homegrown signing Grant Lillard and fellow Fire academy alums Mauricio Pineda and Andrew Gutman, Lindley opted to not train with Chicago’s first-team last summer, instead playing with the Wilmington Hammerheads in the PDL.
Rodriguez said he didn’t know if Lindley currently has any offers from foreign teams.
“Our process there is it begins with always asking the player and the family what they want to do and from there seeing if it makes sense,” said Rodriguez. “We’ve spoken to Cameron we’ve extended an offer to him and he’s in the process of reviewing that.”