Real Madrid are reportedly ready to offer Toni Kroos €5 million per year to leave Bayern Munich, a deal the German champions aren't guaranteed to match.
Bild reported the story as headline news, as translated by 101 Great Goals: "Bild, who take their lead from Spanish paper El Confidential, further outline that Bayern have only offered Kroos a contract extension in which his gross salary will be upped to somewhere between €4-6m a year."
Kroos, who has been feverishly linked with Manchester United in recent times, is now looking likely to play for one of two clubs next season. The Red Devils appear out of the running after Louis van Gaal deemed Kroos unneeded, reported by talkSPORT, suggesting the player is running out of options if he is to leave the Allianz Arena.
At the beginning of April, when Kroos' link to United was at its most intense, the player was quoted saying, "I belong to Bayern," per ESPN FC and via TZ. Prior to this, he suggested he is "unable to rule anything out" when discussing a potential move, reported by Marcus Foley of Yahoo! Eurosport.
As such, Bayern's hierarchy have made it clear they won't be held to ransom when renewing Kroos' contract. Karl Hopfner, the club's president, suggests Kroos should just reveal what he wants to end speculation:
"This is the state of things, no question… Certain financial limitations we will not be exceeded… at some point the player has to say but what he want," said Hopfner, reported by Kicker and translated via 101 Great Goals.
This comment came after Franz Beckenbauer warned Kroos not to ask for too much in Bavaria, reported by MailOnline Sport:
Kroos is "angling for a move to the Bernabeu" according to Charles Perrin of the Express, who also offers his comments after an El Confidential report. It is yet to become clear whether Kroos rates wages above all, or if he is to remain loyal even if Bayern decide against matching a rumoured contract offer from Madrid.
A powerful, ball-playing midfielder, Kroos would be a natural successor to 32-year-old Xabi Alonso in Carlo Ancelotti's centre. With Sami Khedira rumoured to be on his way out, per Steve Stammers of the Mirror, Kroos would galvanise a midfield where his multi-faceted game is easily accommodated.
The player remains in power here. Although Bayern are obviously unwilling to let the player gain leverage when potentially inking a new deal, it is the wishes of the individual that will see these rumours come to an end. His previous public statements contradict each other, but he must be careful when holding out for a new deal, just in case Madrid never bid.
The 24-year-old would back himself into a corner if this happened, making himself look rather foolish in the process.