Pep Guardiola has confirmed Toni Kroos will decide his own future amid reports the German midfielder could exchange Bayern Munich for Manchester United.
Guardiola, who previously seemed adamant his star would remain at the Allianz Arena, admitted the player's decision is final, reported by Gary Jones of the Daily Star:
"[Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Mathias Sammer] will do everything to keep Toni here. But it is up to Toni. He is a young person, it is his decision," said Guardiola.
The 24-year-old's willpower is certainly needed if he is to link up with David Moyes' team next season. Bayern have continuously suggested Kroos will stay during speculation that has developed since January, but Guardiola's admission may signal a change of attitude toward the player who is yet to ink a contract beyond 2015.
Back in February, the Spanish boss suggested both Kroos and the club want him to remain at Bayern. "We all want him to prolong, and he also wants that, I am very positive about it. The club, we all want that," said Guardiola, per Sky Sports.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also suggested the German champions will do all they can to keep their midfield general. He was quoted as saying, "Toni Kroos is sure to wear Bayern Munich's shirt next year," reported by Liam Prenderville of the Mirror.
Kroos has sent out mixed messages over his future. He originally confirmed "the Premier League is an option," per Sky Sports. However, after his side's 1-1 draw away at United during the Champions League quarter-final first leg, he appeared to end interest by saying, "I belong to Bayern Munich," reported by TZ and via ESPN.
Moyes may fear the player is using speculation to fuel a bumper contract in Bavaria. United are allegedly willing to drop £260,000-per-week wages on Kroos, noted in Jones' report, a figure he will struggle to command at Bayern after club legend Franz Beckenbauer "told Sky Germany he shouldn't raise the stakes too high," via Sky Sports.
If Moyes longs for Kroos like the media suggests, increasing speculation is sure to improve the United manager's chances of landing his target. The classy player would add a sense of control to Moyes' midfield, whose current crop struggle to put their foot on the ball when under pressure.
United have begun to improve in recent weeks, mainly due to Moyes finally playing Juan Mata alongside Shinji Kagawa, indicating fans could have real potential to look forward to if Kroos arrives.
The ball-playing midfielder, who isn't afraid of putting in a thumping tackle and can score from long range, is the type of world-class talent needed for United to regain Champions League football.
Guardiola's quotes will provide many fans with hope. If Kroos can be convinced, it seems the transfer has a real chance of going through.
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