Manchester United chance to sign €40m man vanishes in an instant?

Toni Kroos & Julian Baumgartlinger

Manchester United target Toni Kroos illustrated his talent for Bayern last night, but did their chances of signing him slip away?

Arsenal's match with Bayern Munich was a game which generated many talking points, some divisive, yet the one point everybody is surely in agreement on is that Toni Kroos proved he is world class.

The midfielder had been in the doghouse at Bayern in recent weeks due to his angry reaction at being substituted against Stuttgart, which was compounded by his refusal to so far sign a new contract.

Manchester United had been linked with signing him at the end of the transfer window in January, amid reports David Moyes had met with his agent.

The United boss was in attendance at The Emirates last night to watch Kroos, but surely won't have known whether to laugh or cry.

Kroos was immense, with Jamie Redknapp summing it up on SkySports: "You can see why Manchester United want him. He was incredible tonight. What a footballer."

His statistics from the game were mind-blowing:

* 172 touches.

* 152 completed passes.

* 97% passing accuracy.

* Five shots, three on target, one goal.

* Three goalscoring chances created.

* 4 of 7 accurate crosses.

* 21 of 22 long balls completed.

For the watching David Moyes however, the performance should be a headache rather than reason to smile. While seeing Kroos prove he can dominate Premier League opposition is positive, the chances are he won't get an opportunity to.

From a sporting perspective, United are likely to be unable to offer the German the chance to compete in the Champions League next season at all, making their job of convincing him all the more tougher given his performance last night.

Crucially though, the reason it is hinted that Kroos is open to a move, is his pay in the region of €5 million per year, while new signing Mario Gotze receives over €10 million.

Kroos was not just one of many good performers last night, he was the outstanding performer, putting the likes of Gotze, Thiago and Martinez in the shade, while his goal will have grabbed everybody's attention.

The game will have shown Pep Guardiola and the Bayern hierarchy that Kroos will be worth every penny of a potential pay rise, and could be the tipping point which sees a new contract sorted out before the end of the seaosn despite the player's indictions it will have to wait.

German newspaper BILD wrote: "Toni Kroos suddenly has the best cards in the contract poker. His decisive goal in the 54th Minute might be even have his bosses thinking about a hefty pay rise."

Moyes' hopes of landing his top target may just have disappeared before his eyes last night, and while he shouldn't give up just yet, it would be wise at least to start making other plans. 

image: © Steindy

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