Manchester United's hopes of signing Toni Kroos were dealt a blow on Monday with news that Real Madrid have begun tracking the midfielder, according to talkSPORT, but David Moyes must not let up in his efforts to sign the player.
United have been interested in the Bayern Munich star for several months, with David Hytner of The Guardian reporting that the player is top of Moyes' wishlist as he looks to restructure his squad after a dire first season in charge.
Kroos is one year away from the end of his contract at the Allianz Arena and looks no closer to agreeing an extension. The news has put other European heavyweights on alert, with talkSPORT reporting that Barcelona could also join Real in the hunt for Kroos' contract:
United, who are lining up a big-spending summer, are known admirers of the 24-year-old and are expected to move for him when the window opens.
Barcelona are also said to be keeping a close eye on Kroos' situation and could launch a bid to take him to Catalonia.
But now, according to reports in Spain, Barca's arch rivals Real Madrid are plotting their own swoop for the German.
However, United cannot afford to give up hope on landing the German. They have looked woefully short on firepower this season, relying heavily on Wayne Rooney to produce match-winning performances.
The signing of Juan Mata for a club-record £37 million has gone some way to adding creativity to the United ranks, but Moyes is still at least half a dozen players short of a squad that can challenge for silverware.
Bayern Munich superstar Toni Kroos is ready to join Manchester United.
Kroos has told Bayern and Germany team-mates that he is determined to make the switch to Old Trafford.
Kroos will not come cheap, with Cross speculating that United will have to break their transfer record once again to get their man. The price tag of £40 million would make a large dent in Moyes' reported £200 million war chest.
But it will be money well spent if Kroos can shore up the feeble United midfield. The Bayern man is a prolific passer of the ball and would be the player Moyes desperately needs to ping the ball forward to his trio of Rooney, Mata and Robin van Persie:
147 - Toni Kroos completed the same number of passes as the 12 Arsenal outfield players combined tonight (147). Master. (via @JamesMawFFT)— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 19, 2014
If the reports that Kroos is interested in United are true, it will come as reassuring news to United fans.
While their team looks likely to end the season empty-handed, the prospect of calling Old Trafford home is still appealing to world football's elite.