Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has put to rest all rumours concerning his future. Moments after referee Babak Rafati blew the final whistle to seal die Roten's 3-0 victory over St Pauli, the 26-year old grabbed the microphone from announcer Stephan Lehmann announced to a packed crowd at the Allianz Arena:
"I have extended my contract and will stay at FC Bayern until 2016. Long live Bayern!"
Goal.com UK had exclusively revealed on Saturday that United officials were in Munich to hold talks with the player's representatives with a view to making an £18 million (€21.5m) move for him in the summer.
However, Bayern appear to have responded to that approach by finalising a deal with Schweinsteiger.
The 84-times capped Germany international, who has been at Munich since 1998, had previously drawn the interest of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Inter. As recently as this morning, were speculations that, with his contract set to expire in 2012, the midfielder could be prised away from the Bavarian giants for a bargain price.
However, Bayern have made it a top priority to extend Schweinsteiger's contract, and on Saturday, he became the fifth player in recent months to sign a long-term deal. Previously, Philipp Lahm (until 2016), Thomas Mueller (2015), Holger Badstuber (2014), and Franck Ribery (2015) had followed suit.
As Leslie Mandoki's hit "Thank You" sounded on the PA system, fans celebrated an early Christmas present. Schweinsteiger signed off with a special thanks to the Munich faithful: "I have renewed my contract for you."