Toni Kroos reveals how close he was to joining Man United in 2014 after being wooed by ‘very pleasant’ David Moyes, before the Scot’s sacking shattered the deal and he joined Real Madrid instead… now they’re looking to take down rivals City
- Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos has set a standard that Manchester City are striving to meet
- He will face the Premier League giants in the Champions League on Wednesday
- Pep Guardiola was against Kroos coming to Madrid when he was Bayern boss
- If he hadn’t joined Real Madrid, he might have joined Manchester United
- David Moyes made a personal trip to Munich to meet the player and his family
With three Champions League titles to his name, Real Madrid star Toni Kroos has set a standard that Manchester City are striving to achieve, but he once seemed certain to pursue those dreams for City’s cross-city rivals.
Kroos is set to join the Madrid midfield on Wednesday as they look to deny City a second straight Champions League final. Despite the wishes of then-Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, Kroos moved to Spain after helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup. For many months, however, Old Trafford – rather than the Bernabeu – had seemed his most likely destination, and Kroos had even given his word on the transfer.
During the 2013-14 season, David Moyes was so determined to bring Kroos to Manchester United that he made a personal trip to Munich to meet the player and his family, even meeting Kroos’ son Leon, who was seven. month. Moyes’ wife, Pamela, is said to have been particularly taken with Leon.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has set a standard that Manchester City are striving to meet
At the time, Kroos felt undervalued at Bayern Munich and after talking to Moyes, he and his partner Jessica were convinced to make the move.
“I knew in advance that United wanted me,” Kroos said. “And Moyes absolutely pointed that out. It was a very nice afternoon with very pleasant people. We talked a lot about United’s football plan, which convinced me.
“But we also got to know each other as people. We knew quite a bit about the Moyes family afterwards. We talked about how we lived and how we all imagined family life.
“In the end, we broke up to do it. So we agreed verbally. The next step should be to look at everything on the spot in Manchester. The move would not have been so complicated – after all, we We only had one child at the time, seven months old.
Kroos will look to deny City a second straight Champions League final on Wednesday
Despite the wishes of then-Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, Kroos joined La Liga giants Real Madrid after helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup.
The pieces seemed to fit perfectly. Kroos’ contract negotiations with Bayern were at an impasse and before speaking to the player, Moyes held lengthy discussions with his representatives, the highly respected Volker Struth and Sascha Breese. He had also watched Kroos run the show as Bayern won 2-0 at Borussia Mönchengladbach in January 2014.
Everything changed on April 22, when Moyes was sacked less than 48 hours after a 2-0 loss to former club Everton. Although the United hierarchy were still interested in Kroos, Moyes had been running the whole thing. Without him, the situation was completely different.
During the World Cup, Struth and Breese negotiated with Madrid and Barcelona, and Kroos eventually settled in Madrid after a phone call from Carlo Ancelotti – the same manager trying to thwart City tonight/Wednesday.
“I’m not someone who thinks of guesswork,” Kroos added. ‘Yes, it was close. I almost went to Manchester United. But that’s not how things turned out.
However, Manchester United appeared to be a likely destination for the star midfielder
During the 2013-14 season, David Moyes was so determined to bring Kroos to Manchester United that he made a personal trip to Munich to meet the player and his family.
‘I don’t have those hypothetical thoughts. Because there are no real answers to these. The only thing I can say for sure is that I probably wouldn’t have won the Champions League three times with Manchester United.
Despite the best efforts of Robbie Williams, who befriended Kroos when the pair met at an awards show in 2016, Kroos looks unlikely to move to United now.
The 32-year-old’s contract with Madrid runs out at the end of next season, but he said: “United are too big a club to be here for a year or two.” This is not a club where you will end your career. You have to be there for three or four years and the player and the club have to have a clear idea.
A deep game thinker, Kroos is already working on his legacy. He helped develop an app, Toni Kroos Academy, during lockdown to encourage kids to improve their skills and exercise regularly.
While his views on a possible future at United may not make him particularly popular with their supporters, Kroos can become a hero for them tonight/Wednesday night.