Germany international Toni Kroos is keen to force a move away from Bayern Munich as soon as possible - and wants to join Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are awaiting permission from the Bundesliga champions to hold talks with the central midfielder. Manchester United and Chelsea remain interested but it seems increasingly likely that Kroos will move to the Bernabeu.
This is according to Spanish newspaper Marca, who say Bayern Munich are reluctant to sell this summer, even though the 24-year-old’s contract at the Allianz Arena expires at the end of next season. Kroos can walk away from the German outfit on a free transfer next year, but Real Madrid are prepared to offer around £20 million right now.
The reasons behind Kroos’s decision to leave Bayern Munich
While Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller have recently signed contract extensions with Bayern Munich, the situation is different for Kroos, who doesn’t feel totally backed by either the club or by the manager Pep Guardiola. The midfielder wants parity with Bayern’s highest earners, but the Bavarian giants are not prepared to break their wage structure, even if it means losing the German on a free transfer next year.
Kroos knows he can earn more than £70,000-a-week - the figure he currently receives at the Allianz Arena - by leaving Bayern for a club in England or Spain. However, it’s worth noting that despite Kroos’s feelings towards Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach is believed to be a big fan of the midfielder - and rates him as an even better player than teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Indeed, no midfielder played more Bundesliga matches than Kroos last season, and Guardiola may attempt to convince the club to offer him a more lucrative deal to keep him at the club.
Why Real Madrid?
It was believed that Kroos would become a Manchester United player this summer - until Louis van Gaal was appointed as David Moyes’ successor. The vastly-experienced Dutch coach pulled the plug on a deal to sign the midfielder after taking the reins at Old Trafford - so reports suggesting the Red Devils still have an interest in him may be a little wide of the mark.
Similarly, Chelsea had reportedly identified Kroos as a potential replacement for the released Frank Lampard. But is Jose Mourinho still keen to sign the Germany international after securing the services of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona? It seems unlikely - although that hasn’t stopped recent reports claiming Chelsea will offer the player a huge £7 million-a-year contract offer, which is significantly higher than the £4 million-a-year deal Real Madrid have planned.
Of course, almost every ambitious player wants to join Real Madrid, but how far up Carlo Ancelotti’s summer wish list Kroos currently finds himself is unclear. The Italian is looking for another central midfielder - Xabi Alonso isn’t getting any younger, while Sami Khedira could leave the club - but Chelsea’s Ramires and PSG’s Marco Verratti are two players Ancelotti is believed to fancy more than the Bayern Munich ace.
This, therefore, is a transfer saga that threatens to run and run - possibly beyond even this summer.
One Real Madrid fan is so confident Kroos will sign for Los Blancos that they have created this video of some of his best moments - watch them here.