The Bayern Munich midfielder is continuing to stall on signing a new contract, with just 18 months left on his current deal, and Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to steal a march on Manchester City and Chelsea by making a move in the New Year.
Bayern are beginning to accept that Schweinsteiger is ready to move on after coming through the ranks at the club.
And although they have already told United that they do not want to lose one of their best players during the season, that will not stop Ferguson from stepping up his interest.
The United boss knows that he will be unable to match either City or Chelsea financially if he waits until the summer.
Ferguson is normally reluctant to do his transfer business in January, but wants to strike first in the race for the 26-year-old.