Manchester United’s midfield has been in a state of flux so far this summer. Prior to the end of this season, with Michael Carrick confirming his retirement and Marouane Fellaini widely expected to leave the club once his contract expired in June, United were said to be looking for two midfield reinforcements.
The first arrived earlier in June, with the club completing a deal rumoured to be worth £50m for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred. The Brazilian international, who has travelled to Russia with Tite’s squad, but not yet played, will likely line up alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in a three-man midfield next season, in an effort to provide the Frenchman with the base and freedom that he needs to excel.
But according to this report in Spanish outlet AS, United may not be quite finished reinforcing the middle of the pitch just yet. Apparently, Jose Mourinho would also like to bring Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos to Old Trafford this summer. Kroos currently has a deal with Los Blancos that runs until 2022 with a significant buy-out clause, and are not thought to be concerned by the situation, and whilst United are aware of the complexities of negotiating for a player seen as key to Real’s set-up, Mourinho hopes to entice the player by making him a key part of his project at Old Trafford.
Should Kroos make his way to Old Trafford, one would instantly assume that he would be an ever-present in the team, given the German’s quality and ability. Yet, given that Fellaini is now reportedly close to agreeing a new two-year deal with the club, and with Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay on the club’s books too, it feels unlikely that United would have the space to accommodate another certain starter in their team. Matic was an ever-present for Mourinho last season, and given the money spent on both Fred and Pogba, it seems unrealistic to expect United to launch a concerted effort to bring in a player of Kroos’s calibre with these options currently at the club.