Former West Germany international Gunter Netzer appears to have fired a warning to Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, claiming that the player is not irreplaceable as contract talks reportedly continue to stall over the player's desire to drastically increase his wages.
24-year-old Kroos, who himself has earned 41 caps for his country, supposedly wants to increase his £60,000-a-week earnings to a whopping £150,000, but Bayern have reportedly told him that discussions over a new contract will not recommence until he lowers such demands.
And Netzer, who made 35 international appearances for West Germany between 1965-75, evidently believes that Kroos should be careful during negotiations.
"I would advise Toni Kroos not to overplay his hand," the 69-year-old was quoted by The Daily Mail.
"There are a few players who cannot be replaced, but he is not one of them. He is playing a risky game at Bayern. The club are determined not to pay huge wages to all their players, in order to stay healthy financially."
Such a standoff appears to have attracted more transfer attention in the £25 million-rated versatile playmaker.
Manchester United had already been linked with a move for Kroos during the recent January transfer window, whilst reports have also now suggested that Chelsea - along with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool - are sure to let him know that they are prepared to meet his considerable demands if talks do not progress at Bayern.Manchester United, whose difficult 2013/14 campaign under David Moyes continued with a woeful 2-1 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon, pulled off arguably the deal of the January window after signing Juan Mata from Chelsea for a reported fee of £37.1 million.
However, Moyes' squad still looks desperately short on the desired quality and a player of Kroos' caliber would undoubtedly dramatically improve the squad at Old Trafford.
Chelsea, meanwhile, who puzzled some fans with that aforementioned sale of Mata to a direct rival, have plenty of attacking midfield options to their disposal and it is questionable whether manager Jose Mourinho - who masterminded a superb 1-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last night - really requires another player of Kroos' ilk.
Rather, Chelsea would appear to be far more in need of a consistent striker who can be more effective than the likes of Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o.