Manchester United have included Bastian Schweinsteiger in their official squad list for the first half of the Premier League season.
Schweinsteiger, 32, has not been part of United’s first-team squad so far this season, with new manager Jose Mourinho saying it was “very difficult” for the player to break into his midfield.
But with the former Germany international, who won his 121st and final cap for his country against Finland on Wednesday evening, named in the squad he at least has the chance to force his way into Mourinho’s plans.
Sources told ESPN FC last month that United still do not see Schweinsteiger as part of their plans, while the player himself has said that a move to MLS could interest him and that United would be his last European club.
Each Premier League club must name a 25-man squad of which eight places are reserved for homegrown players aged over 21, leaving 17 spots for non-homegrown players. As United only have 15 senior non-homegrown players, they were able to include Schweinsteiger in the list without omitting anyone else.
Any team which has fewer than eight homegrown players will operate with a reduced senior squad. Players aged under 21 — such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford — do not count towards the quotas. Changes can be made to a 25-man squad during the January transfer window.
One surprise name in the squad in Sadiq El-Fitouri, the 21-year-old defender signed from Salford City — the club owned by Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. As El-Fitouri turns 22 in October he had to be named in the squad to be eligible to play in the Premier League.
Full squad: Bailly, Blind, Carrick, Darmian, De Gea, Depay, El-Fitouri, Fellaini, Herrera, Ibrahimovic, Johnstone, Jones, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Rojo, Romero, Rooney, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Smalling, Valencia, Young
First-team U21s: Fosu-Mensah, Martial, Rashford, Shaw