Sunday 24 March 2019

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

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos

Miguel Delaney

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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