Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos has reportedly told bosses at the Bernabeu he is ready to leave the club, opening the door for Manchester United to rekindle their interest
Toni Kroos has put some of Europe’s biggest clubs on red alert with reports in Spain suggesting he wants to leave Real Madrid.
The German international remains an integral part of the furniture at the Bernabeu and made 44 appearances last season, culminating in a virtuoso display against Liverpool in the Champions League final. butt SER Deportivos report that the 32-year-old ‘does not want to become a burden’ to the club and has no intention of extending his contract beyond next summer.
Should Kroos push for an exit, it would mark a rather dramatic U-turn having expressed his desire to retire as a Madrid player as recently as two years ago.
But if he is unwilling to sign a new contract, that could force Los Blancos into cashing in on the veteran midfielder, else risk losing him on a free in 12 months’ time. There promises to be a long list of potential suitors for Kroos, who has won almost every major honor on offer to him in club football.
That includes Manchester United, having spurned the chance to sign him before he made the move to the Spanish capital in 2014. A year before leaving Bayern Munich, the Red Devils had all-but wrapped up a move for Kroos, during David Moyes’ early days in charge.
Moyes, who had replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of that year, knew that an upgrade in midfield was a necessity and had a list of high-profile targets which included the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Kroos. And the Scot subsequently revealed that a move for the latter was effectively completed before a late change of heart.
“Toni Kroos had agreed to come to Manchester United with me,” Moyes said in 2018. “I met him and his wife and we agreed it all when he was at Bayern Munich.”
Kroos recalls the incident and suggests that it was Moyes’ sacking in April of 2014 which ultimately derailed the deal and offered Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti the chance to swoop in.
“David Moyes had come to see me and the contract had basically been done but then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated matters,” Kroos told The Athletic.
“Louis wanted time to build his own project. I did not hear anything from United for a while and started having doubts. Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called. And that was it.”
Almost a decade – and three permanent managers – later, United still remain desperately in the market for a midfield player in the ilk of Kroos. Erik ten Hag, the fifth man tasked with replicating Fergie’s feats at Old Trafford, is prioritizing a central midfielder during his first transfer window.
Having seen Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata all leave at the end of their contracts, the options for Ten Hag are threadbare at best. Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen have both been linked, but just as he was almost 10 years ago, Kroos provides a tantalizing solution to the problem.