Liverpool have been put on high alert following reports Toni Kroos has informed his agent he wants to leave Real Madrid, but Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also interested. Plus, the Reds have been buoyed by news that one of Juventus' biggest sponsors doesn't see Ilkay Gundogan moving to Turin.
Kroos is unhappy in Spain, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could look to his compatriot as a potential option in boosting his midfield reserves (h/t Daily Star's Luke Gardener).
Real Madrid announced that Zinedine Zidane will replace former Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez at the helm on Monday, and it's alleged Kroos endured a frosty relationship with the sacked Spaniard.
Zidane will hope to squeeze the best out of Kroos as Carlo Ancelotti once did, but the report stated his former club Bayern Munich will most likely look to re-sign their academy graduate. Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports believes Der FCB and Manchester United will each make their plays to sign the 26-year-old:
Kroos was a hit under Ancelotti, and it almost seems like fate the Italian is set to take over at the Allianz Arena when incumbent Pep Guardiola leaves Bayern this summer, paving the way for his comeback.
Los Merengues were disappointed to draw 2-2 with Valencia on Saturday, but Squawka highlighted Kroos as one of Real's more impressive stars:
Toni Kroos' game by numbers vs. Valencia: 80 passes completed 100% pass accuracy 3 interceptions 1 assist pic.twitter.com/9S69LOJd0l— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 3, 2016
Liverpool have had to deal without captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain James Milner in midfield for patches of this campaign, shortening Klopp's options on elite talent in the middle of the park.
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Rumours of a move for Borussia Dortmund's Gundogan are nothing new, but Liverpool will be glad to hear Juve don't look likely to sign the 25-year-old in January.
John Elkann is the chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and he stated Dortmund aren't likely to sell their star this winter, per Italian outlet Calcio Mercato: "In January they don’t sell him, let’s see."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the Bianconeri's main shareholder, and so Elkann might hold a somewhat intimate knowledge of the goings-on at the Old Lady, where his company holds massive interest.
Di Marzio translator David Amoyal recently backed up Elkann's claim that the Black and Yellows aren't keen on the thought of a midseason sale:
@salahawwad not very likely, nothing on Isco so far and doesn't look like Dortmund wants to sell Gundogan— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) January 2, 2016
It's to be expected that Klopp should be associated with a move for one of his former disciples, particularly one such as Gundogan, who ran his last contract at the club down before penning an extension in July.
Gundogan has started in 26 of his 28 appearances this season, putting a recurring back injury in the past to once again establish himself as a key figure at Signal Iduna Park.
Former Bundesliga recruit, Emre Can, is improving his standing at Anfield, but Klopp could look to use his connections in North Rhine-Westphalia to cut a deal for another Germany international this year.
Gundogan's long-term future will once again be a concern for Dortmund after their playmaker entered the last 18 months of his deal, but it seems a winter move is off the table.