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Is there more than football behind Manchester United's Kroos road block?

Toni Kroos Germany

Manchester United gave up last week on signing Toni Kroos. What was behind it?

Manchester United abandoned their pursuit of Toni Kroos last week, without outlining reason for doing so.

What is clear however is that Bayern Munich were not willing negotiators, and stood firm in the face of United's advances, not just for Kroos but Robben and Muller too.

With Kroos it was different, the player has just one year remaining on his contract and can leave for free next summer. Many clubs wouldn't take the risk of not cashing in, but financially Bayern can afford to take the hit.

In fact selling now, could prove in the long run to be more damaging to the German double winners, and that's illustrated by their ranking as the number one most valuable football club brand in the world.

A survey by Brand Finance last week described Bayern as the top club for the second year running, with United in third behind Real Madrid.

With revenue, value of squad, and club heritage all important factors, selling a key player to another so highly regarded side would not count in their favour.

Bayern simply do not want to be seen as a selling club, for football or commercial reasons, and allowing one key player like Kroos hold them to ransom and walk away can only encourage to do the same.

The Germans were likely considering self-preservation as a priority, aware of how the rest of Europe regards them as an elite club, and the financial respect, partnerships and ability to use their 'brand' which comes with that.

Bayern have nothing against Manchester United, save for 1999, but keeping any key player away from any top side comes first for them, and in this case this stance meant it's the Red Devils have had to call time on their pursuit of Kroos.

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