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Bastian Schweinsteiger in talks with Chicago Fire over new contract

Former Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger says he is in talks with Chicago Fire over a new contract.

Schweinsteiger, 33, joined the Fire on a one-year-deal in 2017 and made 25 appearances in his debut season but is now a free agent. However, as he wants to continue his career, he has confirmed talks with the MLS club and is confident he will return for the new season.

"I want to continue playing football," he said at a PR event in Germany. "We are currently in talks. And I definitely want to continue playing football.

"I am always happy when I am out there on the pitch or working with my team in training."

The 2014 World Cup winner joined the Fire from Manchester United in March 2017 after the midfielder became surplus to requirements under Jose Mourinho.

In early January, MLSSoccer.com reported that the Fire and Schweinsteiger were in talks over a new deal which could bring the German back to Chicago for the upcoming season, with an option for another year.

And on Friday, Chicago general manager Nelson Rodriguez told the league's official site that a new deal was "very close."

"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."

Earlier this week, a German minor-league club, SG Buna Halle, offered Schweinsteiger a contract in a tongue-in-cheek posting on Facebook.

However, the club warned that -- while they were able to offer a piece of land, and a training court for his tennis professional wife Ana Ivanovic -- he would also need to bring a crate of beer to his first training session. Schweinsteiger has yet to reply to the offer.

Meanwhile, the Fire moved to re-sign another key piece of their midfield on Thursday, securing U.S. international Dax McCarty with a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the club through at least 2019.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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