Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos has rocked the club after refusing to sign an extension to his current contract, due to expire in 2015.
It leaves the way open for interested parties to discuss a move away from the Allianz Arena—and the player is open to a switch.
According to Thomas Zocher of Sky Sports, Kroos told Kicker magazine:
I am unable to rule anything out.
I am under contract with Bayern Munich (until June 2015). Actually there are yet no further talks (regarding a new contract) scheduled.
There are worse situations in life. I play for a top club, and under a top coach. I am pleased, and sometime in the future a decision will be made.
An important cog in the Bayern machine and central to their recent successes, Kroos would be a huge miss in Bavaria.
Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian described his talents:
A phenomenon, perhaps the archetype of the modern attacking midfielder. Kroos is dynamic and hardworking. He can play at the back of midfield or at the front, in the centre or on the flank.
He could almost certainly play as a box-to-box midfielder in a 4-4-2 if he ever were asked to do something so archaic.
He is creative without being flash, breaks up play without being violent. He is physically robust without being a monster and astute in possession without over-reaching.
He has an understated efficiency that means he probably isn't appreciated as much as he ought to be.
High praise indeed, and with that sort of profile you would expect a player who would integrate seamlessly into any club in the world.
So why would Bayern countenance a sale?
Well, ex-professional Jan-Aage Fjortoft understands that the player wants to double his salary:
Tony Kroos has rejected Bayern's 1st offer to extend his contract (till 2015). I understand he wants to double his money.— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) January 28, 2014
Bayern will not accede to those demands according to ESPN, and the players' agent, Volker Struth, has deemed their current offer "unacceptable."
Talks between player and club remain at a complete dead-end.
Manchester United have been strongly linked with Kroos, and James Dickenson of the Express reports of a meeting between David Moyes and Kroos' agent, which has done nothing to dispel that speculation.
If the Bayern hierarchy refuses to renegotiate, then Kroos could simply walk away. The interest of United, and no doubt others if his availability is confirmed, should sound a warning, as should the players' apparent acquiescence to such a deal.
Pep Guardiola has employed a strict rotation of playing staff since his arrival in Germany, to ensure that Bayern remain competitive on all fronts.
Kroos has played in every single one of the club's 30 matches this season, his importance to the side blindingly obvious to even the most oblivious supporter.
To allow him to leave would smack of a lack of professionalism not usually associated with the Bavarians.
Time to open the wallet, Bayern.