Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has decided that the Red Devils should prioritise other transfer targets ahead of Toni Kroos and pulled the plug on a £20m deal for the Bayern Munich star in a shock last minute u-turn, according to The Guardian.
Kroos was widely reported to have agreed a move to Old Trafford last night after growing tired as contract talks stalling with Bayern, who are unprepared to meet the German international's wage demands despite the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena approaching fast.
Red Devils fans gearing up to celebrate the signing of a genuine top-class Champions League star have been stopped dead in their tracks though, with Van Gaal deciding to move elsewhere in his search for additions that produce a dramatic improvement on last season's efforts at the Theatre of Dreams.
Van Gaal believes that United will be best served to chase a summer deal for Cesc Fabregas while waiting for further developments in contract talks between Kroos and Bayern.
Without a change in stance Kroos will be free to leave Bavaria next year and allowed to negotiate terms over a Bosman transfer from January, surely a potential coup that will have Europe's leading lights cueing up to secure a deal.
Even by modern standards one of the early contenders for transfer saga of the summer seems to have fizzled out at a remarkable pace, but the fact remains that United need a new deep-lying midfielder with energy and dynamism to drive the team forward.
Van Gaal has worked with Kroos in the past but quite surprisingly seems to feel there is no urgent need to wrap up a strong first signing as Red Devils chief.