Toni Kroos' name is synonymous with the uncertainty at Manchester United right now. Shortly after the British press insisted Louis van Gaal isn't interested in the German midfielder, James Dickenson of the Express believes the new boss attempted to land the Bayern Munich star one last time.
His method? A simple phone call:
According to reports in Germany talks between Real and Bayern are already at an advanced stage.
And Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claim Van Gaal will rue missing out on the 24-year-old, after personally calling Kroos to try and convince him to come to Old Trafford.
Such news coincides with the suggestion that Kroos will be offered a whopping deal by Real Madrid. Los Blancos are said to be putting aside £4 million per year, before tax, for a player whose future has remained in the balance since the January transfer window, reported by David Kent of the Daily Mail.
Kroos recently built on reports that suggested Van Gaal wasn't interested by indicating Manchester wasn't the destination for him.
"I am expecting to play for Bayern Munich next season," said the 24-year-old, reported by Bild, via the Press Association and Yahoo Eurosport. "There was a lot of speculation, but Manchester is and was not an issue. At this point in time I am fully focused on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup."
Suggestions Van Gaal personally phoned the player flips the story on its head. It also indicates interest from elsewhere is significant enough for the United manager to act quickly and with purpose in fear of missing out on the talented midfielder.
Where is Kroos most needed?
Of course, this entire situation may be an example of a player seeing what type of funds he can lure from Europe's best. Madrid's reported offer is massive—something Bayern aren't guaranteed to match—but it's difficult to gauge exactly what Kroos wants after the World Cup.
If he craves greater cash than he's currently earning at the Allianz Arena, both United and Madrid can offer that. If he wants to feel important and personally needed, Van Gaal's alleged phone call proves that is likely to happen at Old Trafford. If he wants stable success, Bayern have it. Despite suggesting he will stay in Bavaria, the player only ever feels one interview away from contradicting himself.
Kroos has stated he is "unable to rule anything out" when it comes to moving, per Marcus Foley of Yahoo! Eurosport. He also said, "I belong to Bayern," reported by TZ and via ESPN FC. One analogy will have to give.
Of course, Kroos may be weighing up his options for a year's time, as reported by Bild and via Stefan Bienkowski of the New York Times:
Bild stating Toni Kroos intends to run out his contract(expires next season) and then leave Bayern for free: http://t.co/7rGhKRyeiC— Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) June 10, 2014
ESPN FC reports Thomas Muller, someone who has also been linked with United, per Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star, has inked a new contract with Bayern:
BREAKING: @FCBayern have confirmed Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller have signed contract extensions with the club.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 11, 2014
Jan Aage Fjortoft, the popular pundit who is based in Germany, hints this could free up space for Kroos to leave:
Philip Lahm and Thomas Müller have extended their contracts at Bayern. Kroos and Schweinsteiger......?— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) June 11, 2014
This news indicates Kroos may now be reachable if Van Gaal does indeed wish to pursue him. The United man is currently being linked with a number of players from his Dutch squad. Kevin Strootman stories roll on, per Tom Sheen of the Independent, while Arjen Robben and Stefan De Vrij's names continue to pop up, reported by Bruce Archer of the aforementioned publication.
Kroos' future looks set to drag alongside these rumours throughout the summer. Now the World Cup is nearly upon us, any progress is unlikely to be made during the tournament. The player is, however, in the shop window every time he steps onto the field for Germany.
Whether Van Gaal is still peering through the glass remains to be seen.