Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Must Shift Focus off Toni Kroos

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

MINSK, BELARUS - OCTOBER 02:  Toni Kroos of FC Bayern Muenchen in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between FC Bayern Muenchen and FC BATE Borisov at the Dinamo Stadium on October 2, 2012 in Minsk, Belarus. (Photo by Maksim Malinouski/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Manchester United are still chasing German midfielder Toni Kroos, but the Red Devils should start looking at other options amidst reports he could be on his way to Real Madrid.

El Confidencial (h/t Metro) claims Louis van Gaal has been in contact with the German international, who has one year left on his contract and could be leaving Bayern Munich prematurely:

The new Red Devils boss knows the German midfielder from his time as Bayern Munich manager and has already called Kroos to discuss his future, according to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.

However, United face stiff competition for the unsettled 24-year-old from Real Madrid, who are also ready to enter the bidding for Kroos should Bayern decide to cash-in.

Kroos is out of contract in a year’s time and is stalling to sign a new deal as he seeks wage parity with Bayern’s top earners like Mario Goetze, Franck Ribery and new signing Robert Lewandowski.

The German insists he will remain at Bayern for the upcoming season, but should he continue his contract stand-off, the Bundesliga champions may decide to offer him up to the highest bidder rather than risk losing him for free in a year’s time.

Via Transfer Related, BILD knows the Bavarians are already deep into negotiations with Real Madrid:

The report from BILD, which is in German, states Real will not be looking to potentially swap Kroos for Sami Khedira, while also mentioning Kroos would be happy to just let his current contract with Bayern run out, to leave the club on a free transfer next season.

Let's make one thing very clear—that is not going to happen. Kroos' value on the open market is too high for him to just leave the Bavarian giants empty-handed. Barring injury, Kroos will either move during the summer or the January transfer window, or he'll sign a new deal.

Kroos has been back-and-forth on his stance regarding current club Bayern Munich all year, with a contract dispute reportedly being the basis of the problem. The midfielder joined the club at the age 17, and his wages are well below those of several new arrivals like Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski.

He's not a player who will make his mark on a match's statistics, but his incredible passing skills make him a valuable asset to have in midfield. Kroos always seems available to receive the pass thanks to his great vision, and his ability as a distributor makes the people around him play better.

In many ways he's similar to current Real midfielder Luka Modric, the most likely casualty in the team's starting XI should Kroos make the move to the Spanish capital.

Any team could use a passing maestro like that in midfield, and the Red Devils are no exception. Via Purely Football, Paul Scholes even informed the club the German should be their No. 1 priority during the transfer window:

But a creative midfielder is not the club's biggest need, not with Juan Mata going into his first full season in Manchester. United need an enforcer to play behind the duo of Mata and Wayne Rooney, and that is one role Kroos cannot fill.

A player like Zenit St. Peterburg's Axel Witsel, who brings out the best of Marouane Fellaini for the Belgian national team, would give the Red Devils the edge in midfield they sorely lacked under David Moyes.

Via BBC's Musa Okwonga, the club is looking into signing AS Roma's Kevin Strootman, but the Giallorossi won't be willing to sell the player after just one season, and the Dutchman is still recovering from a gruesome injury.

Strootman would be a good signing, but there needs to be a backup plan for another class box-to-box midfielder. This should be the club's primary focus, and not Kroos.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich can both offer Kroos Champions League football, and while that extra incentive doesn't exclude United from the transfer talks, it's one of many things both cubs can use to their advantage.

The Red Devils are rebuilding, and they're at the lowest point they've been in years. For a top player like Kroos, both Bayern and Real are more tantalising destinations, and that's something United should just accept.

It's time to look past Kroos and identify the biggest weakness this team currently has. Let Real and Bayern argue over where he'll be playing next season. The Red Devils should focus on their rebuild right now, and that won't involve the German international.