Pep Guardiola believes reported Manchester United target Toni Kroos is destined to stay with Bayern Munich.
The Spanish boss takes his Bundesliga champions to Old Trafford on Tuesday in an enticing Champions League quarter-final clash. Many reports have linked Kroos with a switch to United since January, a move Guardiola believes is unlikely, as reported by David McDonnell of the Mirror:
Toni has one year more on his contract and Toni will remain there. I hope he can extend his contract and stay with us because he's a very good guy and he loves this game.
It's not just a job for him, he enjoys to play football, and I would like him to stay. I spoke with the player, with the club and I gave my opinion. After that, I am not manager, I am just the trainer, so it's completely different.
Will Toni Kroos join Manchester United in the summer?
Kroos has emerged as a key player across recent years and would add world-class quality to United's struggling midfield ranks. The German international is capable of playing behind the striker, in central midfield or on either flank in a rotational system, offering the kind of versatility David Moyes' team long for right now.
The Scottish boss is said to have scouted Kroos during the winter transfer window, per John Edwards of the Daily Mail. Moyes will get a closer look at the 24-year-old across the two games with Bayern, matches many expect to be extremely one-sided in favour of the German champions.
Kroos has made 33 appearances across the Bundesliga and Europe this season, as recorded by WhoScored.com. He has netted three goals—including a stunner against Arsenal—and provided six assists in a team that possess world-class strength-in-depth throughout the midfield.
The player recently insisted "no decision has been made" on his future, as reported by Henry Winter of The Telegraph. It's possible Kroos is using United's interest as leverage to gain a significant pay increase at the Allianz Arena, but this is a risky game.
Franz Beckenbauer recently said, "when the demands are too high, a decision will be made," per Sky Sports. If Kroos is looking to broker a new deal by utilising the interest of other clubs, he will need to ensure he doesn't overstep the mark.
A decent performance from Kroos would see his price increase still further. It will be fascinating to hear the reaction of United's crowd when his name is released, especially as many would welcome him to their club with open arms.
German-based pundit Jan-Aage Fjortoft reported the latest comments of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Guardiola, suggesting we should expect news on Kroos' future soon:
Re: Kroos rumours There are no reports saying Kroos has signed a new deal at Bayern. As I've said: Expect news next couple of weeks— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 31, 2014
Bayern-boss Rummenigge: - Toni Kroos is sure to play in a Bayern Munich shirt next year.— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 31, 2014
Rummenigge AND Guardiola saying this. Kroos says nothing. I love poker. Hope to get an interview with Toni Kroos after the game tomorrow— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 31, 2014
For Guardiola and Bayern, it's business as usual. With Kroos expected to stay, there's little for the club to worry about now. United have consistently been brushed aside this season and if players such as Kroos perform at Old Trafford, another victory is more than likely.