Toni Kroos' future is far from sorted, despite Bayern Munich's clear plan to tie down their stars' long-term future. As such, Manchester United are once again linked with the German midfielder.
Kroos has watched on as both Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller confirmed extensions that put an end to any transfer gossip, particularly involving the latter. He is yet to be afforded such a luxury, as highlighted by quotes attributed to the player, reported by David Kent of the Daily Mail:
There's nothing new to report. With respect to the time before the World Cup, nothing at all has changed. If anything does happen, then you will all find out. Congratulations to Philipp and Thomas for their decisions and extensions.
The Kroos-to-United rumour appeared to die when it was reported Louis van Gaal wasn't interested in landing the player's services, per Jamie Jackson of the Guardian. Kroos' stand-off with the Bayern hierarchy over a new deal has continued to bubble since Franz Beckenbauer told the 24-year-old "not to overplay his hand" in February, reported in an alternate Jackson article.
Kent suggests Bayern "have yet to reach a compromise," months after it first appeared Kroos' demands could see him move away from the Allianz Arena. This comes after Karl Hopfner, president at the German champions, admitted the club won't break "financial limitations" to keep the player, per Kicker and translated by 101 Great Goals.
Currently with Germany at the World Cup in Brazil, it's unlikely Kroos' future will be sorted in the next month. His lack of committal is sure to frustrate United and Bayern fans alike, who have been forced to wade through endless speculation without the player giving much away.
This is an individual who has done all he can to keep options open heading into the major tournament. Kroos' selection of quotes across recent times range from, "I belong to Bayern," reported by TZ and via ESPN, to him saying, "I am a man for whom anything is possible," per Kicker and via 101 Great Goals.
Bayern's aforementioned reactions indicate they realise Kroos may be trying to use the interest of other clubs as leverage for landing a better deal. Both Chelsea and Real Madrid are said to be ready to offer Kroos the type of cash he reportedly wants, per Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, suggesting United would face a difficult battle for his signature if the player is eventually deemed necessary.
For what it's worth, Kroos would be a quality signing for the club, even if his main attributes overlook what United need most.
His passing, vision and composure could bring calmness to a midfield that failed to assert itself last season, but he's not the almighty tackling dynamo United crave. Although the individual is versatile, Van Gaal has more important gaps to fill across the centre and defence.
Still, as the ever-present link to Wesley Sneijder also reappears, reported by ESPN, United fans will need to consciously deflect rumours that persist without really advancing. The Red Devils are sure to be busy this summer, but transfers are unlikely while many of the targets—and of course, the club's new manager—remain in Brazil for the World Cup.