In a potential sign that Bayern Munich could be resigned to losing cultured passer Toni Kroos in the upcoming transfer window, the German midfielder's contractual situation at the Allianz Arena - amid rife interest from a big Premier League club - has been compared by club president Karl Hopfner to that of Michael Ballack who, after four years with Bayern, joined Chelsea in 2006 on a free transfer.
Kroos has a deal with Bayern that expires next summer, yet the club are only prepared to offer the 24-year-old a certain amount per week. Hopfner told Kicker that "there are certainly more talks [to be had with Kroos]… the player has to say what he wants." He added that there are "certain financial limitations that cannot be exceeded."
As club and player are continuing to negotiate, the Daily Mail claim that a £20m deal between Kroos and Manchester United appears to be untrue.
United have long been linked with a move for Kroos, who could bring exquisite tempo and chance creation to the base of the Old Trafford club's midfield. In 11 Champions League starts, Kroos returned 27 tackle attempts, a 94% passing accuracy, attempted 95 passes per appearance, created 20 goal-scoring opportunities, two assists and one goal.
What Bayern fear the most, though, is to lose Kroos on a free transfer next summer, like they did with former star Michael Ballack, who cost Chelsea zero pounds in a 2006 transfer fee "at some point we have to withdraw the offer."