Toni Kroos has confirmed that he is set to achieve his dream of playing for Real Madrid shortly after winning the World Cup with Germany.
Kroos was one of a number of stars to impress in Joachim Low's side, which is all the more impressive when you consider how uncertain his future was at Bayern Munich. Speculation was rife before and throughout the tournament, especially with regards to a move to Manchester United. However, the 24-year-old kept his head down in Brazil and will come home a World Cup winner.
The midfielder played the full 120 minutes of the World Cup final as Germany edged out Argentina after Mario Gotze's extra time volley settled to match at 1-0. Winning the tournament was a dream come true for Kroos, who went on to confirm that he will be completing a second dream in a matter of days.
'Two dreams achieved'
When celebrating Germany's victory, Kroos confirmed that he would be playing in the famous Los Blancos kit next season.
"We’ve finished the World Cup in the best way possible. Now I’m going to Madrid, so that’s two dreams achieved," Kroos told UOL.
Kroos is believed to have agreed a five-year deal with Carlo Ancelotti's men worth £160,000-a-week. With just 12 months remaining on his contract at Bayern Munich, the Bavarian club reluctantly agreed to sell him for £20 million.
Manchester United interest
Reports last week claimed that David Moyes was all but set to bring Kroos to Old Trafford, but was unable to complete a deal before he was sacked in late April. Based on his World Cup showing, no one can blame Sir Alex Ferguson's successor for chasing his signature.
However, Louis van Gaal, chosen to replace Moyes, didn't seem to have the same level of interest in the player, despite being part of the management team that helped bring Kroos through the first team at Bayern Munich.
The Daily Mail claims that Van Gaal instead told Manchester United officials to pursue a deal for Anders Herrera, who joined in a deal worth over £28 million.
Old Trafford rejection
Reports claim that Moyes was confident of landing Kroos, but quotes from the player himself suggest that he was never interested in a move to Manchester United. Despite a hefty contract of around £260,000-a-week believed to be on offer, it appears Kroos was never interested in playing for Manchester United, who will not compete in any form of European football next season.
He told Bild in May: "There was a lot of speculation, but Manchester is and was not an issue."
So it may be that Van Gaal stopped Manchester United's pursuit of the player because he knew it was a losing battle. Anyway, why would Van Gaal reject Kroos in favour of a move expensive, less experienced option in Herrera?
Sami Khedira future
The most interesting aspect of this story now lies in the future of Kroos' international teammate Sami Khedira, who may be on his way out of the Bernabeu once Kroos arrives. Arsenal and Chelsea appear to be favourites to land Khedira while some reports maintain that Ancelotti would still prefer to keep him to play alongside Kroos.
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