Toni Kroos had agreed to complete a summer transfer to Manchester United but decided to pull a plug on the proposed deal after Louis van Gaal had been appointed to replace David Moyes as the club’s manager.
This is according to former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft, now an established as a journalist on German TV, who claims to have the inside track on the situation of Kroos, who eventually left Bayern Munich for Real Madrid in a £24 million deal.
Kroos had long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and, for some time it had appeared inevitable, but it seemed the club’s interest cooled after Van Gaal arrived at the club to succeed the sacked Moyes.
But, claims Fjortoft, it was the player rather than the new manager who backed out of the transfer, which is somewhat contrary to what had initially been reported.
Fjortoft tweeted on Wednesday night: “Been told from very good sources that Toni Kroos agreed to join Man UTD. But after Moyes out - Van Gaal in: Kroos said no.”
Van Gaal relationship
Kroos has played under Van Gaal before, of course, and it had been assumed the two enjoyed a cordial relationship given that the midfielder was afforded his debut for Bayern Munich during the Dutchman’s tenure at the Allianz Arena.
It is, then, somewhat odd that Kroos would have supposedly rather played under Moyes than Van Gaal, as Fjortoft would appear to suggest. But perhaps this is related to the status in the team he would have been offered under each manager.
What went wrong?
The Germany international was identified as a key target during the failed reign of Moyes and would have been a player of great importance, valued above any other midfielder in the Manchester United team. It was a level of appreciation he wanted in Munich, and one United were prepared to guarantee.
It has, however, been suggested that the 24-year-old does not work hard enough to retrieve the ball when his team is not in possession, and perhaps he was aware that Van Gaal would afford far less privileges than his predecessor.
These are just theories, of course, and the decision, were it made by Kroos or Van Gaal, remains something of a poser. Kroos had seemed suited to Manchester United and the ideal candidate to fill that void left by Paul Scholes’ departure - an assertion that has been made by the club legend himself.