Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has admitted he was close to joining Manchester United in 2014.
Former United manager David Moyes had previously claimed he tried to bring the German to Old Trafford before losing his job at the end of a poor first season.
How close was Kroos to joining Man Utd? Five things to know…
- Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014.
- The German midfielder was also being linked with a move to Manchester United.
- Former United boss Moyes previously claimed he had met Kroos before being sacked.
- And Kroos has now confirmed he did meet with Moyes and reached a “verbal agreement”.
- But any deal was scuppered when Moyes was sacked by Man Utd.
Moyes was picked as the man to replace the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson for the 2013/14 season, but only lasted 10 months into his five-year contract.
And, according to Kroos, it was Moyes’ departure that scuppered his move to United.
“I knew before that Manchester [United] wanted me,” he said.
“Moyes underlined that, absolutely. It was a really nice afternoon with very nice people. We talked a lot about United’s footballing plan, which convinced me.
“In the end, we agreed to do it. We agreed verbally. But I am not somebody who worries about contingencies.
“Yes, it was close. I almost went to Manchester United. But it did not happen that way.”
Kroos went on to join Real Madrid and become a key part of their midfield, dominating Europe, winning three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018.
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And Kroos insists he does not regret the failed move to United, believing he would not have had the same success.
“One thing I can say for sure: Manchester United would not have won the Champions League three times,” he added.
“Manchester United is not a club you go to for a short while. Manchester United is too big for a year or two. This is not a club to end your career.
“Since both the player and the club must have a clear idea – I signed with Real Madrid until 2023.”
Moyes’ other failed signings
Unfortunately for United fans, Kroos was not the only player who came close to joining the club under Moyes.
According to Moyes, United’s first season post-Ferguson could have been a big one, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas backed to join Marouane Fellaini at Old Trafford.
“Marouane Fellaini was to be part of a group of players to come in,” he said in March.
“By the time we got to the end of the transfer window, we always thought we had a chance of getting Gareth Bale.
“We hoped we could talk him out of going to Real Madrid because it was already half done. We had offered more money, we tried to entice him. We did [have a helicopter ready] and we tried.
“Cesc Fabregas was very close. I spoke to him and hoped to bring him Barcelona. But this is management and we all have lots of hard-luck stories.”