David Moyes infamously missed out on a host of stars in the transfer market during his brief time as Manchester United manager, including Toni Kroos before he left Bayern Munich to join Real Madrid
Toni Kroos has revealed that he was absolutely “convinced” to join David Moyes ‘ Manchester United before his transfer infamously collapsed.
The German midfield maestro and his partner, Jessica, were all set to make the move to Manchester in the summer of 2014, only for Moyes to be sacked shortly after negations regarding a transfer from Bayern Munich had taken place. Kroos had recently established himself as one of world football’s finest midfielders, having won the Champions League the season prior.
United, meanwhile, were enduring a disastrous first campaign under Moyes, who had the task of picking up Sir Alex Ferguson ‘s legacy. The former Everton boss was determined to turn things around, though, setting his sights on the current Real Madrid star after infamously missing out on Thiago Alcantara at the beginning of the term.
“I knew beforehand that United wanted me,” Kroos is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail ahead of Real’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City on Wednesday. “Moyes absolutely underlined that. It was a really nice afternoon with very pleasant people. We talked a lot about United’s football plan, which convinced me.
‘But we also got to know each other as people. We knew quite a bit about the Moyes family afterwards. We talked about how we lived and how we all imagined life as a family. In the end we broke up to do it. So we agreed verbally. The next step should be to look at everything on the spot in Manchester.
“The move would not have been that complicated – after all, we only had one child at the time, seven months old. It would all have worked.” Little did the playmaker and his family know that their plans would be scrapped after the Red Devils travelled to Everton on April 22 and lost 2-0, a damning defeat which prompted Moyes’ sacking.
The Scot had been the man Kroos believed in, so as United searched for a new manager – ultimately Louis van Gaal – his entourage sounded out other destinations during his successful World Cup campaign with Germany. Eventually, despite interest from Barcelona, the Kroos clan settled on Madrid, where dad has won 15 trophies eight years, including three Champions League titles.
While Red Devils supporters still rue his decision, Kroos is not one to look in the rearview mirror. “I’m not someone who thinks about hypotheticals,” the 32-year-old added. “Yes, it was close. I almost went to Manchester United. But that’s not how things turned out.
“I don’t have these what-if-thoughts. Because there are no real answers to them. The only thing I can say with certainty is that I probably wouldn’t have won the Champions League three times with Manchester United.”
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Even pop star Robbie Williams, who struck up a friendship with Kroos after the pair met at an awards ceremony in 2016, could not convince him to swap Madrid for Manchester in his twilight years. And even though his contract expires in 14 months’ time at the end of next term, he has no plans to play at the famous Theatre of Dreams for a short spell.
“United is too big a club to be there for a year or two,” Kroos stated. This is not a club where you go to finish your career. You have to be there for three or four years and both the player and club must have a clear idea.”
Moyes has already corroborated Kroos’ tale, too, naming him as one of his biggest failures in the transfer market during his eight-month spell in charge. “Toni Kroos would certainly be the one,” he revealed to BeIN Sport in April 2020. “At that time we were very much after Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas.” Unfortunately for Moyes, he can only dwell of what might have been.