Manchester United face likely defeat in pursuit of Kroos

Manchester United would love to count upon the services of Toni Kroos, but Pep Guardiola insists the player wants to stay at Bayern Munich.

David Moyes had identified the German international as a potential signing during the January transfer window, when it emerged negotiations over a new contract had hit a brick wall. Kroos will be down to the final 12 months of his existing deal at the end of the season, when the Bundesliga giants could face a decision on his future.

If they decide to listen to offers for the 24-year-old there will be no shortage of takers, especially after his glowing performance against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. The midfielder played arguably the best match of his Bayern career in the English capital, including scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win.

Moyes was in attendance at the Emirates Stadium and must have left with his determination to sign Kroos redoubled, even in the likely event he will not be able to offer him Champions League football next season. United are currently in seventh position in the table, some 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool with just 12 matches remaining.

Yet regardless of what may or may not be on offer at Old Trafford, Guardiola is confident of keeping Kroos to the Allianz Arena on a new and extended contract. When asked about the midfielder following the win over the Gunners, the Spanish coach said: “We all want him to prolong, and he also wants that, I am very positive about it. We all want that.”

With Bayern taking one step in the direction of the quarter-finals of the competition they won at Wembley last season, their quest to repeat the treble is well and truly on. The league title has already all but wrapped up as they have a 16-pont lead, and they are also in the semi-finals of the German Cup. So when pundits asked how they could improve on last term under Jupp Heynckes, it appears as though Guardiola could have the answer.

As for United, their elimination from the FA Cup, at the third round stage, meant they were out of action last weekend. Moyes took his players to a warm-weather training camp in Dubai, and they return to Premier League action on Saturday when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. It would be some achievement if they can finish in the top-four this season, but record signing Juan Mata is certainly not giving up hope.

“The objective is to get to the Champions League spots,” the Spaniard, who cost £37million when he signed from Chelsea in January, told Canal Plus. “This is Manchester United. When this club wins two, three or four matches in a row, it has a winner’s mentality. We are coming and I think we can do it, but we have to win a lot of games first.”


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