Deal for Kroos develops some twists and could be over

Manchester United’s summer transfer business puzzled many of the clubs supporters on Thursday after a reported £20 million deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos was reported in the Daily Mail on Wednesday night with previous reports from the newspaper and other mainline media sources suggesting that a deal was all but done. The claims, although the fee seemed to be cheap considering the type of player Kroos is, were rejected by many on face value because of the newspaper that was reporting them. Then Bayern Munich’s president Karl Hopfner’s comments seemed to back up the reports in their own way. Hopfner speaking to Kicker, said:

“It was the same with Michael Ballack [before his free transfer to Chelsea in 2006], we withdrew our offer at one point.

“Kroos is under contract until 2015. There will certainly be more talks. But eventually the player has to say what he wants. We will not overstep certain financial limits.”

Then this afternoon Jamie Jackson of the Guardian reported that any deal which would have seen Toni Kroos head to Old Trafford this summer were off due to new manager Louis van Gaal ending interest. The report said:

“Louis van Gaal has ended Manchester United’s interest in Toni Kroos, in what represents the new manager’s first major decision regarding the rebuilding of his squad this summer.

“The Bayern Munich midfielder had been pursued by David Moyes, Van Gaal’s predecessor, with the 24-year-old identified as being able to help solve the deficit in United’s central midfield department.

“Kroos, who impressed in a deep-lying role when Bayern knocked United out of last season’s Champions League, has only a year left to run on his contract at the German club.

“Yet despite his ability to also play in the No10 role or as box-to-box midfielder, Van Gaal, who is aware of Kroos’s abilities from his own time managing Bayern, has decided he should not be a target for the club this close season.”

Toni Kroos also passed comment on the comments made by club president Hopfner whilst speaking to German new source Bild. The talented German midfielder said:

“I expected the quotes from Bayern. That I have to accept & respect. After I turned their offer down, I knew how they would respond.”

Kroos confirmed that he had turned the Bundesliga champions contract renewal down, meaning that he would be a free agent in just over a years time, in which the player will only be 25-years-old and still approaching his peak, it would represent a good deal for any club who was to sign such a player on a free. With the player refusing Bayern’s contractual offer, perhaps the club have stated to potential suitors that he will not be sold, which seems to have forced United to maybe pass details onto trusted parties of the press here in the UK. I find it a bit strange that only the Guardian and the Telegraph went ahead with these reports, with the Mirror and Express following suit some hours later.

I do not understand why the Daily Mail would not report on any of the news, which has been reported in four national newspapers. Are they confident that the information they published in Thursday’s newspapers was true or did they not want to show themselves up with a U-turn in their exclusive article?

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes, who is writing for Paddy Power ahead of this summers FIFA World Cup spoke about Kroos in his first article for the betting company. He said:

“The first player I’d bring in is Toni Kroos. He’s a top-class central midfield player but United need five or six to get anywhere near the top of the Premier League again.”

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Kroos is definitely the best option for United this summer, which seems to suggest that there is something going on that we are not being told. Are United trying to play down a deal for the German midfielder so he’s not distracted during the World Cup? Are Bayern reluctant to sell the player this summer as Pep Guardiola sees him as a player the squad need to utilise in the coming season? Are United trying to let Bayern know that they will walk away from a deal to try and tempt them to sell? Has Louis van Gaal found another midfield target who he feels would fit better in his squad? One thing is for sure, things may not be over just yet.

SkyBet still have Kroos to sign for United at 1/6, but earlier today the odds were at 1/4, so they have shortened since Thursday’s news. The odds do show that SkyBet do not think this is over, but thinking about it, they are looking to make money and it is far better having a player linked to United, as money may still change hands. Is this summer going to go as planned with ‘world class’ signings arriving at the club, or will it be more like last summer with United still trying to reinforce their squad come transfer deadline day? Please feel free to cast your opinion in the comments section below.

By Paul Bienkowski

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