According to The Metro, Chelsea are prepared to offer Germany midfielder Toni Kroos £125,000 per week to move to Stamford Bridge, either this summer or next, dependent on Bayern Munich's stance.
The attacking midfielder has recently been heavily linked with a move away from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich with Manchester United understood to be monitoring his availability.
The 24-year-old has been in fine form at the Allianz Arena this term and is currently on display at the World Cup in Brazil. But following confirmation that the Blues have signed Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas for £30 million this month and already possess great quality in midfield via Oscar and Ramires, where would this potentially expensive signing fit into Jose Mourinho’s starting XI?
There must, firstly, be an admission that football at the highest level is a squad game – it is rare and highly unlikely that the same XI players will start 38 games in the Premier League as well as competing in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League as the Blues will next term.
However, a starting role is still a coveted and important status for top-level players and Toni Kroos, Oscar, Ramires and Cesc Fabregas are all world-class midfielders.
Juan Mata was sold in January, leaving a spot free in attacking midfield but Oscar has filled that playmaker function with Oscar behind him last term.
Frank Lampard will be leaving Stamford Bridge, which also opens up a place in Mourinho’s side but with Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel alternating in defensive midfield what will be Mourinho’s preferred central trio in his 4-5-1 formation next term?
Kroos plays as an attacking playmaker or a central midfielder for both club and country, exactly as Fabregas has for Barcelona and Spain and Oscar does for Chelsea and Brazil.
Kroos scored four goals and made 9 assists in all competitions for the Bavarians last term whilst Fabregas scored 13 goals and made 22 assists for Barcelona and Oscar scored 11 goals and made 10 assists for the Blues.
Given their return and productivity in terms of goals and chances created, Kroos would surely be behind Fabregas and Oscar in terms of deployment in that playmaker role whilst Ramires is undoubtedly one of the most complete box-to-box midfielders in the world at present.
Matic is a strong, combative and more protective presence in front of the back line than Mikel so one would think an axis of Matic-Ramires-Fabregas would be the most fruitful choice.
Of course the combination already of Matic-Ramires-Oscar is also efficient and already comfortable in that system but other combinations such as Mikel-Ramires-Kroos or Matic-Fabregas-Oscar could also be considered.
Ultimately, losing Lampard and Mata (in January) leaves enough space in the squad for both Fabregas and Kroos to come in but these are world-class players who will want to play every game.
Both Fabregas and Kroos, if he moves, will be moving for the key reason of wanting greater access to first-team starts and you would suspect that Kroos would be behind the Spaniard and the Brazilian in the pecking order even if he signs.