Toni Kroos, a star for Real Madrid, has admitted he came close to joining Manchester United in 2014, just before relocating to the Spanish capital. Soon after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Kroos transferred from Bayern Munich to Los Blancos for a rumored sum of approximately £20 million.
He said he almost ended up in Manchester in an interview with The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein (h/t Chris Burton of Goal):
“David Moyes had visited me, and the deal was essentially finalized.”
“But once Louis van Gaal replaced Moyes after his firing, the situation became more problematic. Louis wished for more time to develop his own idea. After a spell with no communication from United, I began to have my suspicions.”
“Carlo Ancelotti then called as the World Cup got underway. Then it was over.”
Toni Kroos to Manchester United was almost a done deal:
Before the completion of his first season, in April 2014, Moyes was fired after the Red Devils failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. In command of the Netherlands during the World Cup, Van Gaal then assumed control of United.
The Red Devils won the FA Cup with the Dutchman, along with the UEFA Europa League and League Cup under his replacement Jose Mourinho, but Kroos has also contributed to the Santiago Bernabeu team’s victories in La Liga and three UEFA Champions League championships.
Michael Carrick, who turned 33 in the summer of 2014, would have made a great long-term successor for the 30-year-old and a fantastic addition to United.
Kroos has proven to be a master tactician throughout his time in Madrid, and Real was able to sign him at the age of 24 for a very low fee. Kroos won the Champions League this season also and the La Liga as well. Kroos has been highly successful in the Spanish capital. That summer, United instead added Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, and Angel Di Maria.
Although Herrera and Blind performed admirably during their tenure at Old Trafford, only Shaw is still a member of the team, and he has spent the majority of that time out of shape or unfit, while Di Maria was sent to Paris Saint-Germain after just one season at a loss of £15 million.