The rumour is that Jose Mourinho wants to nudge Schweinsteiger gently but firmly towards the Old Trafford exit door as well - so this is a chance for him to re-evaluate what his future might hold.

[MOURINHO 'AXES NINE PLAYERS': SCHWEINSTEIGER, FOSU-MENSAH, BORTHWICK-JACKSON OUT]

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Now 31, he is edging towards the end of his playing days, so his next move could be his final opportunity for a big payday.

And with no need for him to worry about fighting for a spot in the Germany side, he could easily end up playing for a club outside of Europe's top five leagues - or even outside of Europe.

China

There's a lot of talk about China's development as a footballing nation - their men's game is growing quickly (the country has already hosted two Women's World Cups, and their national team is very good). And the money on offer is nothing short of sensational. Graziano Pelle is now earning £270,000 in the Chinese Super League, so how much would Schweini merit? Half as much again, perhaps?

But the issue is whether Schweinsteiger would want to consider heading out there and joining a Chinese Super League team? Perhaps not, to be honest. He had a recent run-in with the country when he sued a toy manufacturer for selling a toy Nazi soldier in his likeness and with his name - something which makes it hard to envision him warming to the idea of life in China.

[SCHWEINSTEIGER 'TO SUE' CHINESE TOYMAKER OVER LOOKALIKE NAZI DOLL]

The USA

If the MLS genuinely want to prove they're not a retirement home, they need to start populating their rosters with players who could conceivably still play at the top level elsewhere. In that light Schweinsteiger would be a decent acquisition for a club on the other side of the Atlantic - and if David Beckham's Miami franchise wasn't a couple of years away from launching, that would be a perfect place for him. Still, there are plenty of other options out there - there'd be a good salary on offer, some big-name colleagues, and an excellent quality of life.

Another Premier League club

It's incredibly unlikely that Schweinsteiger would even consider staying in England if he's not at Manchester United. He has nothing to prove, and he has no need to pack up his things and tout his wares around the Premier League. Furthermore, his performances last season suggested that he was several years past his best, certainly in terms of keeping up with the haphazard, fast-paced brand of football in the English top flight. Above all, the clubs who would be improved by his presence - the Crystal Palaces, the Watfords, the Sunderlands - simply wouldn't have the footballing cachet that the man and his sponsors need.

Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace were beaten in the FA Cup final - and they'll be beaten to Bastian Schweinsteiger as well

Image credit: PA Sport

Staying in Europe

The two clubs most consistently linked with a bid for the midfielder's signature from around Europe are Paris Saint-Germain and Besiktas. The latter rumour seems unlikely; the club have been throwing big money around for a while - and effectively so, given that they won the title recently. But if it's money he's after then Schweini could get more elsewhere; and if it's glory, there are bigger stages still open to him.

Besiktas fans celebrate 14th Turkish Super Lig title

Image credit: Eurosport

PSG seem a better fit, for example, and the value they got from a seemingly end-of-life purchase of Zlatan Ibrahimovic a few years ago suggests that Ligue 1 could be a good home for him. On top of that, his new wife Ana Ivanovic would no doubt be very happy to be based in Paris, the city where she won her sole Grand Slam singles title back in 2008 - the same year that Schweini was busy losing the Euro 2008 final with Germany.

And speaking of the new Mrs Schweinsteiger... there's one final option:

Stay-at-home husband

Maybe after a long and glorious career, it's time for Schweini to take a bit of a rest. His new wife Ana Ivanovic still has plenty to achieve on the WTA Tour after an awful recent slump in form - now they're back from honeymoon the former world number one needs to concentrate on picking her game up and competing against the stars who have surpassed her. She'll need a supportive Schweini in the players' box as she travels the world.

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