Transfer news: Arsenal reportedly set to rival Manchester United in pursuit of unsettled Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos
Bayern are believed to have refused Kroos' demands for a significant wage increase leading to a number of Premier League clubs to monitor his situation
Tuesday 04 February 2014
Arsenal could rival Manchester United in the hunt for Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos after contract talks between him and his current club reportedly hit a stumbling block over his wage demands.
The Germany international reacted angrily to being substituted early in the second half during Bayern’s 2-1 victory over Stuttgart last week, and he was left on the bench by manager Pep Guardiola for the 5-0 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
It has been reported that Kroos is demanding a significant wage hike to more than double his £60,000-a-week salary, with officials at the Allianz Arena refusing to meet his £150,000 demand.
United were linked with a January transfer move for Kroos before they landed Spaniard Juan Mata, but it is believed that their interest remains ahead of a possible £25m move on the summer should Kroos choose to leave.
Arsenal saw their interest in another German, Schalke’s Julian Draxler, end in failure as they could not negotiate a fee with the Bundesliga side to land the attacking midfielder, but it has been claimed by former Middlesbrough and Barnsley striker-turned Nowegian and German TV pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft that Bayern are eyeing the 20-year-old themselves as a replacement for Kroos.
24-year-old Kroos has been with the current Champions League holders for six years and is demanding the significant increase put him on a par with the biggest names at the club – Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and captain Philipp Lahm.
Arsene Wenger already has a wealth of German talent at his club, with no less than five of Kroos’ compatriots already plying their trade at the Emirates in the first team squad.
Mesut Özil was the latest recruit as he was signed by the club in September, adding to Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem – who made his first team debut in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Coventry last month – while Thomas Eisfeld is currently playing for the reserves.
While the need for another striker to support Olivier Giroud is clearly evident, Wenger could look to bring in the attacking craft that Kroos would offer, not to mention his experience as a Champions League winner along with his 41 international caps.
There is however the prospect of facing competition not just from United, but Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City as well as a number of top clubs across Europe who are interested in his services.
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