Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified Toni Kroos as the man he wants to replace Michael Carrick in Manchester United’s midfield this summer.
The United boss has confirmed he will be in the hunt for midfield reinforcements this summer, with Carrick set to retire and Marouane Fellaini widely expected to leave the club on a free transfer.
And, according to the Independent, the United boss has identified the signing of the Germany star as his preferred target this summer – and sees the former Bayern Munich man as the perfect player to get the best out of Paul Pogba and alongside Nemanja Matic in a midfield three.
United came close to signing the 28-year-old back in the summer of 2013 when David Moyes almost struck an agreement for the then-Bayern Munich star.
But Kroos broke Moyes’ and United’s hearts by opting instead for a move to the Bernabeu – a move that has been justified with the player a vital cog behind their recent three successes in the Champions League.
It’s expected to be a major summer of change at Real Madrid this summer, though Kroos is not one of the names the club are thought to be wanting to replace.
However, the offer of a big-cash bid for Kroos – who is rated in the €80m (£72m) bracket by Real Madrid – could tempt them to sell.
Getting the best out of Pogba remains an issue for Mourinho, who has seen the Frenchman struggle in a midfield two.
The Frenchman wants to play in a midfield three like he did with Juventus and Kroos is seen as the ideal selection alongside Matic and behind Pogba in the middle of the park.
When asked about the club’s plan to sign a new midfielder this summer, Mourinho said: “We need to sign a midfield player because we are going to lose Michael Carrick.
“Of course we need balance in the team and I said that months ago. You can accuse me of many things but you cannot say I lie to you.
“When I don’t want to say things, I don’t say, but I don’t take you in other directions. So I told you we don’t want to sign any strikers or wingers, and yes we are looking for a midfield player.”
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