Real Madrid kingpin Toni Kroos missed the midweek Champions League defeat to Manchester City and speculation is already afoot.
The 30-year-old Germany midfielder has made 31 appearances this season in all competitions, but he was strangely left on the bench at the Bernabeu and didn’t get on.
There has been no explanation for Kroos’ absence with Marca reporting that he has not been carrying an injury and has been one of Los Blancos’ best players for years.
Former Madrid player and pundit Alvaro Benito claims there is something “going on” with the player after he didn’t get the call from the bench by Zinedine Zidane.
“He didn’t even go out to warm up. You can send him to warm up with the idea that he will participate, and suddenly City score two goals and you think it is more convenient to bring on more attacking players,” said Benito on Spanish radio station Cadena SER via AS.
Real boss Zidane was asked about Kroos’ absence in the post-match press conference and he apparently claimed it was a tactical decision, but Benito thinks there is more to it.
“I saw Zidane’s answer later on television and he gives me the feeling that something is going on there,” he added.
Kroos, who only signed a contract extension last May, is under contract until 2023, but he has in the past been linked with Manchester United.
And according to Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda via Bild United submitted a £67m offer for Kroos last year.
The Sun claimed last month that at least one of Gareth Bale, Isco, Luka Modric or Kroos could be included in a deal that would see Paul Pogba head to Real with all four ‘up-for-grabs’.
El Chiringuito, as translated by the excellent Sport Witness, have also claimed Madrid are very much intent on bringing in Pogba and, in order to help finance the deal, are willing to include certain players.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be in the market for midfield options in the summer, with Pogba and Nemanja Matic expected to depart and if Kroos is available he will more than likely be an interested party.