Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has suffered his first personal rejection of his reign at Old Trafford, as rumours insist that Toni Kroos wasn’t encouraged to make a move to the club despite a personal phone call.
According to information in the Daily Express the German international remains unconvinced of United’s ability to develop him as a player and further his career, and as such he is intent on joining Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid instead. Reports over the weekend shed light on the fact that Van Gaal had personally contacted Kroos in an attempt to rescue the efforts to make him his first marquee signing as United boss, amidst rumours that he could be tempted away from Bayern Munich.
Despite quotes from the player initially stating that he would be remaining at the Allianz Arena in order to fulfil a contract which doesn’t expire until summer 2015, there has always remained healthy speculation that he could move on before next season as he isn’t an indispensable player in Pep Guardiola’s regime. But whilst many United fans would have been forgiving for assuming that this had given their side a fighting chance in contending for his signature, it would appear that Van Gaal stands to be ultimately rejected.
The idea that Kroos would opt for Madrid over United isn’t too discouraging for supporters of the latter, as the newly-crowned European champions are naturally the more attractive option, particularly given their participation in the Champions League. However Van Gaal’s failure to sway the 24-year-old’s opinion could pave the way for fresh concerns over United’s ability to land top quality players at a time when their squad is in serious need of a revamp.
As was made abundantly clear by the sacking of David Moyes, the powers that be at United are desperate to maintain their status as one of the world's elite football clubs, and the idea of being snubbed in favour of other suitors isn’t one that they are used to. There remains hope in the form of Van Gaal being a far more reputable character than his predecessor was, but the rate at which top stars are declining moves to Old Trafford may even call into question his skills as a negotiator.
Close relationships with the likes of Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dutch starlet Jordy Clasie offer reason to believe that United may yet enjoy a successful summer in the transfer market, but whilst players like Kroos seem actively discouraged from taking what is essentially a risk in joining Van Gaal’s project in Manchester, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading for the Red Devils faithful.