The real reason Manchester United pulled out of Kroos bid?

Toni Kroos & Julian Baumgartlinger

Manchester United made an apparent u-turn earlier today, deciding not to move for Toni Kroos.

Manchester United supposedly cancelled their pursuit of Toni Kroos earlier today, but was it ever really on in the first place?

Reports in The Express and The Mail prematurely claimed the Red Devils had agreed a £20 million fee for the midfielder, proving wildly incorrect.

The reports seemed to base their facts around a report in ESPN, which claimed there had been 'advances' in talks between the parties, but crucially added that Bayern Munich were averse to selling the midfielder despite his contract situation.

The snowball effect had already begun though, and only when Bayern's president came out yesterday and failed to acknowledge these reports while discussing Kroos' contract, did it appear as though the reports really were premature.

Midway through yesterday, The Guardian reported that Louis van Gaal had ended his interest in Toni Kroos.

Yet the same paper claimed less than a week earlier that Kroos was in fact on Van Gaal's shortlist.

So what's behind the sudden change of heart?

Bayern Munich's not for sale stance of course.

United suffered several snubs last summer from high profile transfer targets, and chief executive Ed Woodward is under pressure to deliver this summer, emphasised by Paul Scholes' comments only earlier in the day.

The club indicating they suddenly had no interest in Kroos flies in the face of the original sources who told ESPN on Tuesday that talks were 'advancing'.

It appears most likely that Bayern Munich are staying firm, and taking their chances Kroos will sign a new deal at some stage, and if not leave on a free transfer. Even if he did, for a club like Bayern, they do not want to be seen to have their best players poached, for fear more could follow, and do not need the money.

United's stance looks like it could be to save face, a piece of PR aimed to cover themselves from negative headlines.

Where they go next will be intriguing, and make no mistake - the pressure remains on to deliver.

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