Real Madrid have reportedly confirmed an agreement to sign Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, finally ending speculation surrounding the German midfielder's future, reports Carlos Carpio of Marca:
Real Madrid have signed Toni Kroos. The Bernabeu outfit has reached a deal with Bayern to sign the midfielder. With just a few minor details to iron out with regards to add-ons, a deal was done for €25m.
Madrid took full advantage of the midfielder's contractual situation to sign a player whose market value under normal conditions would be twice as much as Real have paid.
The reported transfer offers a speedy development for a player who has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and finally Los Blancos. Kroos recently suggested that he wouldn't decide his future until after the World Cup, reported by Anthony Chapman of the Express:
Now's not the time to talk about that sort of thing.
[...] I've got a contract with Bayern until 2015 and over the last five months I've had plenty of similar situations. When it's not Real, it's United. They're great teams, just as Bayern is. If there's a decision to be made, it'll be after the World Cup.
Kross reiterated that sentiment prior to Germany's World Cup match against France (via Miguel Delaney of ESPN):
Kroos: "I said quite clearly that, during World Cup, no decision will be made. I want to concentrate on World Cup. Nothing has been agreed."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) July 3, 2014
Germany remain in the competition and face a tough quarter-final showdown with France on Friday, but that doesn't appear to have stopped Real and Bayern striking a deal. Although Kroos may still need to agree personal terms, it appears extremely likely he will join Carlo Ancelotti's squad of Galacticos for a relatively cheap fee.
In comparison, Liverpool recently signed Adam Lallana for a similar price, jokingly alluded to by Betfair:
#Kroos fee reported to be £25m, or as it's otherwise known in England - one Southampton player.— Betfair (@Betfair) July 3, 2014
Manchester United fans are sure to feel a smattering of disappointment after appearing in poll position for Kroos' signature since January. The midfielder's controlling presence will go down a treat in the Spanish capital, where he will be tasked with helping the European champions replicate their terrific Champions League triumph from the 2013-14 campaign.
Popular freelance journalist Clark Whitney believes better options are available to Real:
If I'm RealMadrid, I'd rather sign Vidal than Kroos. RM could use defensive presence alongside Modric, especially if Khedira leaves— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) July 2, 2014
Kroos could be joined by Radamel Falcao, who is reportedly getting closer to a La Liga return, reported by AS and via RMadridHome:
Today's 'AS' Cover: Real Madrid are keeping the number 9 shirt for Falcao. Benzema is taking the number 10. pic.twitter.com/6HcmrVh9Vt— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome) July 2, 2014
101 Great Goals translate the main point of the original report, writing: "Rather than all the shirt numbers talk, the underlying message of the transfer tale in AS is to convince readers that Falcao’s arrival in Madrid is imminent."
This means interest in Liverpool's Luis Suarez looks to have passed, perhaps after the Uruguayan striker was banned from all footballing activity for four months after biting Italian centre-back Giorgio Chiellini. Barcelona are in "advanced talks" to secure Suarez's signature, reported by Metro, allowing Real to turn their focus toward Falcao.
Which striker represents the best signing?
The Colombian striker continues to recover from injury and is likely to be fit for the start of next season. Ancelotti will certainly face difficult selection issues if Falcao and Karim Benzema are to challenge each other for a place in the first team, but the goalscoring power each would offer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is certain to get many fans excited.
Considering Barca might be flaunting Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar, next season's challenge for the Spanish title could be explosive. Champions Atletico Madrid will need to replace the outgoing Diego Costa with haste if they are to maintain pace with the sides they shocked last term.
Should Real capture both Kroos and Falcao, it's fair to say Florentino Perez's annual spending spree will be well and truly in effect. Last year's main arrival, a certain Mr. Bale, paid the president's ambitions back with vital goals as the season came to an end, the kind of match-defining impact we can also expect from Falcao.