Toni Kroos has admitted he would consider joining a non-Champions League club if he leaves Bayern Munich, fuelling speculation he could join Manchester United at the end of the season.
As reported by German-based pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft, Kroos revealed anything is possible during the Bundesliga side's pre-match press conference during the run up to their European tie with Arsenal:
Me: - Would you consider a move to a team that it's not in the Championsleague? Kroos:- I will consider everything. IF I should leave— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 10, 2014
United have been linked with Kroos since the end of the January transfer window. Rumours of a potential deal increased when the German star's younger brother, Felix, told Sky Germany his older sibling could have "worse situations" to make than to join the Red Devils, per Ben Burrows of the Mirror.
Kroos continues to play an important role at the Allianz Arena after helping Bayern to a quintet of trophies throughout 2013. He has made 29 appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season, scoring two goals and contributing six assists, per WhoScored.com.
Will Toni Kroos join Manchester United in the summer?
The versatile player—who naturally bursts forward if deployed in central midfield—possesses an all-round game that could make a real difference at Old Trafford.
United have often played uninspiring football this season, lacking any real intensity or resistance in the middle of the park. Kroos is an astute tackler, boasts pinpoint vision and has the energy to work hard across the pitch. He is a meticulous player, someone who thinks about his every move, and also has the natural power to slam home long range shots when afforded space.
Kroos' recent goal against Arsenal summed him up as a player. His precise curled effort hit the top corner after the 24-year-old found a smidgen of room on the edge of the box, providing Bayern with a vital away goal.
Rob Dawson of Manchester Evening News approaches Kroos' potential departure with caution, suggesting the player may use his position to gain a better deal in Germany:
Toni Kroos hardly rubbishing talk of a move to Man United but he wouldn't be the first to use another club's interest to get a better deal.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) March 10, 2014
Franz Beckenbauer previously warned Kroos about stumbling on a new contract, saying Bayern won't be held to ransom to maintain his signature, per Sky Sports:
"Bayern will make an effort to keep him, but when the demands are too high, a decision will be made," said the German legend. "There is no player who you have to give everything to keep. Everyone is replaceable."
Pep Guardiola responded to Kroos' admission on Monday by saying he hopes the player remains in Munich, per Fjortoft:
Guardiola on Kroos: - I have told him I can make him an even better player. I hope I will have him many seasons— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 10, 2014
While many believe United will struggle to land world-class talent if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League—a real possibility considering the team currently lingers in sixth—Kroos' claims certainly contradict this.
Combined with the January signing of Juan Mata, it seems David Moyes will have little trouble tying up high-profile deals.
Kroos' future intentions remain to be seen, but if United's interest is concrete, the Premier League champions will undoubtedly be confident they can land his signature.