Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has played down talk that a potential move for Paul Pogba could jeopardise his place in the club’s starting XI.
Kroos, 29, recently penned fresh terms with Los Blancos, signing a new contract that will keep him at the Bernabeu until June 2023.
Could Pogba join Real? Five key things to know…
- After a turbulent season, Pogba’s Manchester United future remains uncertain.
- The midfielder’s fractured relationship with former manager Jose Mourinho cast major doubt on his future earlier in the season.
- Pogba enjoyed a resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but his form soon fizzled and old wounds have since resurfaced.
- The Frenchman has previously described Real Madrid as his “dream club”, lauding Zinedine Zidane in the process.
- Kroos has now refused to rule out that Pogba will join Real when quizzed about his potential arrival.
The German’s midfield influence was key during Zidane’s first spell in charge of the Spanish giants, as the duo clinched a wealth of titles, including three European crowns and the La Liga trophy.
Despite a disastrous campaign this time around, Zidane appears to have identified Kroos as paramount to his plans going forward, with the former Bayern Munich playmaker securing a four-year contract extension.
Part of Zidane’s job this summer will be to rebuild Real’s squad after a season of turmoil, and one player who could come in to help rejuvenate the side is Pogba, though Kroos is certainly not worried about the potential of any midfield competition.
Toni Kroos for Real Madrid since 2016/17:
• Most touches (7519)
• Most passes completed (5769)
• Most chances created (208)
• Most assists (23)
• Second-most tackles (180)
Not too bad. pic.twitter.com/8egKK4ypuc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 20, 2019
Asked about how his role could change with the potential arrival of Pogba, Kroos told a press conference: “That doesn’t change anything for me.
“I’ve fought for my place, played well, I don’t think I’ll have any problems to play.
“I don’t know who’s going to go, I don’t know who’s going to come. I’ve spoken to the manager, I know what his idea is. I’m going to be important, I can’t say anything else.
“I don’t know how many changes there are going to be. I’ve never had any doubts about my future. I want to be here always, and I’ve always said that.”
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‘The idea is to finish my career here’
Question marks were raised of Kroos throughout 2018/19 with the 92-time Germany international, at times, looking a shadow of his former self.
And the midfield engine says he recognises this poor form, which culminated in the sackings of both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, though he has stressed his eagerness to rediscover his spark, and even finish his playing career in Madrid.
He added: “Many times, after the game against Ajax, for example, I admitted that I wasn’t at my level, I’ve got no problem to say that.
“I really want to improve how I played but before I played four years consistently well, this year I played worse than the four years before that’s true. I’m still the same player, 29 years of age, and I still have three or four years at the top level I’m sure.
“The idea is to practically finish my career here, at age 38 I don’t think I’ll still be playing. The idea is this will be my last long contract here.”