Manchester United target Toni Kroos has refused to rule out a move away from Bayern Munich, telling the German press, "it is my future, and my decision," ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Red Devils' pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is also said to have taken a positive step after the sacking of David Moyes.
Both targets have seemed unlikely acquisitions during a season of turmoil for the club, a nightmare which ended with Moyes' sacking on Tuesday morning. But Kroos is said to be keeping his options open, despite former coach Jupp Heynckes telling the German international to stay, as reported by Bild and via Kit Holden of the Daily Mail:
In an interview in today’s Bild, Kroos was full of praise for his former coach, saying that "he is the most important coach I have ever worked with. His is one of a few opinions who I value very highly. It was great to hear what he thinks." Nonetheless, the midfielder refused to rule out a move, insisting that "it is my future, and my decision."
Kroos is heading into the final year of his current contract and is suggested to be at loggerheads with Bayern's officials over a new wage, per Holden's report. The versatile midfielder continues to capture the gaze of United and Arsenal, both clubs he has faced during the Bundesliga champions' run to this season's Champions League semi-final.
The player persistently omits mixed messages when it comes to his future. He was quoted as saying, "I belong to Bayern" by Munich-based newspaper TZ (via ESPN), but he also appears to be deliberately suggesting he could be available for transfer in the summer. Of course, Kroos may playing hardball in order to receive an improved contract at the Allianz Arena.
Cavani, however, may become an option if United can offer him the right future. As reported by Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, the prospect of success and a central role could weigh heavily on the Uruguayan's future:
Starsport understands United representatives flew to France last week to holds talks about Paris St-Germain striker Cavani. He had told close friends he was reluctant to join United because of their recent fall from grace.
But it is understood the club believe their decision to sack Moyes on Monday could convince Cavani to change his mind.
The PSG player may be tempted now that Moyes has left the club, although the relevance of his signing will be defined by who is hired and what style of football that person intends to play. Cavani has the pace, power and lethality to excel in the Premier League, and his natural work-rate ensures he would likely become a fan favourite upon his arrival.
Channel 4 News suggests the next United boss will have between "£150 and £200 million" to spend, ensuring Kroos and Cavani remain realistic targets if they wish to leave.
United's labouring midfield desperately needs an overhaul, like it has done for some years. While Michael Carrick's creativity was nullified under Moyes, the likes of Tom Cleverley and Marouane Fellaini are yet to show they can consistently cut it at Old Trafford. Kroos' versatility would add a calming presence, someone who isn't afraid to dictate in possession, offering United greater control in tight games.
Cavani would also freshen up a strike force that has struggled this season. The 27-year-old has 19 goals across 36 Ligue 1 and Champions League starts since joining the Parisian club, per WhoScored.com. He continues to play on the left of Laurent Blanc's 4-3-3 formation, a position that is making him "increasingly unhappy," according to David Anderson of the Mirror.
Both transfers feel unlikely right now, especially considering the turmoil currently shrouding Old Trafford, as one has to consider how attractive the club's current situation is. Kroos and Cavani could be swayed away from United's interest by a lack of Champions League football next season, although the club's next choice of manager may have an impact on whether each player is needed.
The Kroos and Cavani rumours continue to surface. We can expect further developments on each story as the summer transfer window approaches, particularly once United's incoming manager outlines his vision for the club.