Paul Scholes has expressed his disappointment that Manchester United have been unable to secure the acquisition of Toni Kroos, with the Old Trafford icon claiming Ander Herrera does not boast the same qualities as the Germany international.
Long-term Manchester United interest
Kroos has been linked with Manchester United for some time, with David Moyes initially sanctioning an effort to recruit the Bayern Munich player in the January transfer window. There were plans in place to reignite an interest in Kroos this summer, and Moyes has since claimed he would have been confident of recruiting the midfielder, had he not departed Manchester United.
The arrival of Louis van Gaal as Moyes’ successor saw the club rein in their interest, which could have either been due to the influence of the new manager of the slim chances of a deal, and other targets have since been pursued.
Ander Herrera, initially identified as a target last summer before Kroos, is the player Manchester United have recruited seemingly as a replacement for Scholes. However, Scholes himself would have rather it was Kroos tasked with filling the hole his departure left in the middle of the park.
Scholes gives his assessment
“I love watching Toni Kroos. I think he’s brilliant. I love the way he controls the ball and controls games. He can really play a pass and has superb vision,” Scholes said in his Paddy Power blog.
“Kroos is capable of scoring goals too, from outside the box on either foot. I just wish Man United had signed him (Yes, it is good to see United bringing in new players, but they haven’t signed anything like the quality of Kroos).”
The only one prepared to speak the truth?
There is no escaping that Herrera, a £32 million signing from Athletic Bilbao, was not the first-choice of either Moyes or Van Gaal, and Scholes has been the only individual connected with the club publicly concede this.
That is not, however, to suggest that Scholes doubts the credentials of Herrera, but the former Red Devils playmaker is quite within his right to express that Kroos would have been his favoured recruit, given the chance.
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Real Madrid deal imminent?
But it was appear there was little Manchester United could have done to sign Kroos ahead of Real Madrid. The player is out of contract next summer, and it would appear he is set to complete a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu this year.
Real Madrid are ready to pay €30 million in order to bring Kroos to the club, with the player reported to have already agreed a €5 million-per-year contract. Manchester United were able to match this salary, but the lure of moving the Champions League winners appeared too great to resist.