Toni Kroos has revealed a phone call with Carlo Ancelotti convinced him to complete a move to Real Madrid.
The Germany midfielder had told Bayern Munich he would not sign a new contract and had just a year remaining on his current deal. Pep Guardiola made the decision to cash in on Kroos and put the player up for sale.
He eventually sealed a £22 million move to Real Madrid but had been heavily tipped to join Manchester United. David Moyes was keen to sign Kroos before he was thrown out of Old Trafford and it is believed Louis van Gaal retained that interest when he took charge.
"It was important that I could be sure from the first day that the coach trusted me."
However, the 24-year-old, who won the World Cup with Germany in the summer, was swayed towards the Bernabeu with a late swopp from Ancelotti. Kroos says the Italian convinced him that Los Blancos was the best place for him.
Speaking to Suddeutsche Zeitung, he said: "It was important that I could be sure from the first day that the coach trusted me.
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"Ancelotti told me that he needed me and he has given me a central role in the team. He told me during a telephone conversation that I could make Real Madrid better.
"Ancelotti wants a little bit more balance in the team's play, a little bit more control. He told me that he wants to further improve our play, that he wants to change it, with the intention of having more phases with possession of the ball. And therefore, he told me that he needed me."
Ander Herrera signed instead
Manchester United went on to sign a very similar player in Ander Herrera, who Moyes had originally tried to sign in the summer transfer window of 2013. However, once it became clear that Kroos was available, he was firmly the Scotsman's first choice target.
But although the Red Devils could have matched Real Madrid financially, they could not offer any European football let alone the chance to play with the likes of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.