Manchester United make Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos main transfer target, but not to replace Paul Pogba

Kroos will slot in between Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, rather than being signed to replace the latter

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 20 February 2018 08:01 GMT
Kroos came close to joining Manchester United in 2014
Kroos came close to joining Manchester United in 2014

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos is Jose Mourinho’s main midfield target for the summer, as he seeks to enhance Manchester United’s midfield.

In the wake of a lot of speculation and analysis about Paul Pogba’s role, the Portuguese admitted that he is actively looking to bring in a midfield player in the summer, and The Independent understands the player is Kroos.

United have a long-standing interest in the German international and almost signed him in 2014 before he went to Real Madrid.

While he is seen as a key player at the Bernabeu, word has got around the top European clubs that the Champions League holders will make some high-profile sales in the summer, as they seek to overhaul their squad and buy a huge star. United are thereby willing to test how resistant they would be to selling Kroos.

The 28-year-old is also precisely the kind of holding passer that Mourinho wants to succeed the retiring Michael Carrick, and ideally sit between Nemanja Matic and Pogba in the centre.

Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl is also a target along with Kroos, although the latter is currently the primary option.

“We need to sign a midfield player,” Mourinho said on Friday. “Because we are going to lose Michael Carrick. Of course, we need balance in the team.

“Some of you [the media] keep saying that we are going to buy that striker, that winger, that left winger, that right winger.

“You can accuse me of many things, but you cannot say that I lied to you. When I don’t want to say things, I don’t say [them]. But I don’t take you in other directions. We are looking and we are going to try to sign a midfield player.”

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