Toni Kroos insists he is no nearer to a contract extension with Bayern Munich than he was prior to leaving Germany for the World Cup. The midfielder’s current deal expires next year and he has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Given the certainty around his future at the Allianz Arena, Kroos has become perhaps the most coveted midfield player operating in European football, and it would appear a departure from Bayern Munich is the most likely outcome to this intriguing transfer story.
Kroos is not exactly giving anything away, but his reluctance to openly commit himself to Bayern provides his suitors with great optimism. In a press conference on Wednesday Kroos was even offered a chance to pledge himself to Bayern, but remained coy and took it as a chance to congratulate teammates Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller deciding to stay in Munich.
"There's nothing new to report," he said. "With respect to the time before the World Cup, nothing at all has changed.
"If anything does happen, then you will all find out. Congratulations to Philipp and Thomas for their decisions and extensions."
A Bayern deal
Bayern want Kroos to stay, of that there is no doubt. Numerous prominent club figures, both past and present, have urged him to stay put, but there is a growing sense he would have signed a new deal by now if his intention was to do so.
There is an offer on the table, but Kroos would like more lucrative terms. Should Kroos inform Bayern that he will not sign the contract then it remains to be seen if the Bundesliga champions will sell the player this summer, or lose him for nothing in 12 months.
Man Utd were confident
Manchester United have pursued Kroos for some time, with former manager David Moyes having identified the Germany international as a potentially key acquisition. Moyes has since claimed he was confident Kroos would have moved to Old Trafford had he remained in charge.
However, his successor at Manchester United, Louis van Gaal, is supposedly less keen on the player, it it may well be that he chooses not chase Kroos. It has been reported that the current Netherlands coach is prepared to end the club’s interest.
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Chelsea make offer
Chelsea appear to have established themselves as the favourites to land Kroos, having supposedly made a contract offer significantly higher than that proposed by Real Madrid. £7 million-per-year is Chelsea’s supposed offer, compared to the paltry £4 million annual salary Kroos would earn at the Santiago Bernabeu. But were Bayern to sell this summer, Chelsea would reportedly have to pay £20 million on top.
But where Kroos would fit into a Chelsea midfield is open to debate, with the club already having signed Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, and boasting the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard among their esteemed number.
Real Madrid in contention
Chelsea have arrived somewhat late to the Kroos party, with Real Madrid initially having appeared the most likely destination should he pursue a move away from Bayern Munich. Although Chelsea have now placed themselves ahead of Madrid, it would be foolish to rule the Champions League winners out of the running.
The prospect of moving to Stamford Bridge is clearly an attractive one, and not just because of the financial incentive, but Real Madrid retain a greater allure than the Stamford Bridge club.