When Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced that Bastian Schweinsteiger was leaving the club to play Old Trafford on Friday, he proffered the news with an element of cold realism that belied the 17-years' service and countless trophies the central midfielder had brought his team.
“He was an icon for the club. But even for icons a career comes to an end eventually,” Rummenigge said.
The bluntness of this statement was not lost on Spiegel journalist Sebastian Winter.
“Schweinsteiger is no longer needed by the the German champions. The manner of the farewell shows that the 30-year-old has no future – neither with the club nor with trainer Josep Gaurdiola,” Winter wrote.
The truth as many German journalists see it is that Schweinsteiger is almost 31 and his body is starting to creak underneath him.
So when a club comes along with a €15 million pot, you jump at it – and despite the official story that the decision was all the player's, commentators believe the club were more than happy to see him go.
The club themselves have conceded that Schweinsteiger's patchy playing record played a role in their thinking.
“This transfer has two sides, one emotional and one rational,” said Sporting director Matthias Sammer.
“Emotionally our respect for Bastian will always be huge. But in terms on rationality, it is the case that he was often injured recently and that over the last two years he couldn't be relied upon.”
After falling in the semifinals of the Champions League two years in a row there were calls for the squad to be rejuvenated in May.
Rumours have been swirling in Germany that coach Pep Guardiola had been agitating for the local hero to be moved on, something which he has repeatedly denied in public.
But German media have largely seen this as part of a PR strategy on the part of the club.
It would not have gone down well with fans if their Fußballgott ['football god'] had been pushed out by the club suits and a manager who is yet to bring the Champions League trophy back to Bavaria.
Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) points out that the club were less forthcoming with Schweinsteiger when it came to hard finances.
The player informed the press last season of wanting a contract until 2018 but the club never met his demands, with Sammer saying it was “difficult to look beyond 2016.”
In the 2014-15 season Bayern had already been playing Schweinsteiger out of position, and with Javi Martinez returning from injury central midfield berths would be at a premium in the coming season.
When there had been a place for the “greying old strategist,” it would have been on the bench, concluded Spiegel's Winter.
With the €15 million Manchester United have reportedly paid, Bayern “have been given money to solve a problem,” SZ write.