Chelsea are still very keen on signing Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos during the summer transfer window, but according to the latest reports, it looks very unlikely the German international will be moving to the Premier League very soon.
A source within the club told Marca Bayern were unwilling to let the midfielder leave Bavaria before the end of his contract, set to expire next season:
"It's impossible with Bayern. The same thing happened to us with Ribery, it was hopeless. Above all, it's down to the mentality of German clubs. He'll have to see his contract out."
Some fans will applaud the German club's stance, deciding against giving into a player's demands and forgoing a hefty transfer fee in the process. Others will question such a financial approach, but regardless of opinion, it looks like Pep Guardiola and Bayern have no intention of selling.
Kroos himself recently commented on his contract situation following the news teammates Phillip Lahm and Thomas Mueller were awarded extensions. Via The Daily Mail's David Kent, Kroos indicated nothing had changed when he spoke during a press conference:
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.
Unlike some of his teammates, Kroos has been very vocal in his demands for an improved contract, and as it stands, Bayern have no intention of allowing a player to strong-arm them into an improved deal.
Whether or not he eventually does sign a new deal seems irrelevant at this point, with Real Madrid emerging as the front-runners for his signature.
Kroos is a classic playmaking midfielder, using his excellent vision and superb passing abilities to set up his teammates with good looks on goal. He's not a particularly versatile athlete, or the type of player who can weigh on a defence from inside the box.
The German knows what he does best, and he sticks to his strengths. There are few players in world football as adept at guiding the play from the centre of the pitch, and in that role, Kroos has shone for both Bayern and the German national team in the past years.
The player most similar to his playing style currently with Real is Luka Modric, and while the Croatian is a phenomenal player in his own right, he hasn't had the sort of impact the club were hoping for when they brought him in from Tottenham in 2012.
Los Blancos don't need Kroos as long as they have Modric, but there's no denying the German would be an upgrade. Real know this, and that's why they're trying to sign him.
On the other hand, the Blues just signed a playmaker of their own in Cesc Fabregas, as reported by the team's official website. While Fabregas and Kroos don't have the exact same profile, both would take up roughly the same spaces on the pitch.
Per Goal's Cristian Nyari, reports in the Spanish media have identified Kroos as Real's biggest priority, and it has shown in how the club have handled their transfer business so far:
Real are giving Kroos exactly the kind of respect and attention he was looking for from Bayern, and those kinds of things can be decisive when a player finally makes his decision. Los Blancos are the current Champions League holders, they field arguably the most talented squad in the world and they have their eyes set on him.
Chelsea have already concluded their business elsewhere, electing to put their primary focus on Fabregas and Diego Costa. While their interest in Kroos is no doubt genuine and nearly every player in the world would want to play for the Blues, Madrid simply makes more sense from Kroos' perspective.
To top it all off, Bayern aren't just sending him to the highest bidder anyway. It still looks like Kroos will be wearing the iconic red kit of his longtime club for the foreseeable future, whether a massive offer comes in or not.
As long as Kroos and Real don't come to an agreement during next year's January transfer window (similar to how Fernando Llorente joined Juventus, per The Mirror's Richard Arrowsmith), the Blues will most likely be in the mix for his signature at the conclusion of next season.
But for now, don't expect the talented German midfielder to be donning the blue and white anytime soon.