Pep Guardiola oversaw his first game in charge of Manchester City on Wednesday night, as a youthful-looking side succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. The Catalan’s City revolution is now underway both on and off the pitch, with Guardiola announcing the club are in talks with Schalke’s Leroy Sane about a move to the Etihad Stadium. If reports in the Daily Mirror are to be believed, then another German international is also being targeted, in the form of Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos.
The newspaper claims that City have launched an ambitious £50 million bid for the 26-year-old midfielder, as Guardiola looks to strengthen his side in order to challenge for the Premier League title this coming season. The City boss worked with Kroos for a season whilst in charge at Bayern and was disappointed when the club chose to sell the player to Real Madrid in the summer of 2014.
If the pair were to be reunited, it would be a huge coup for the Sky Blues, as they would be signing one of the best midfielders in the world. Other than new signing Ilkay Gundogan, City’s holding midfield options are not of the standard that Guardiola is used to working with, and the fact that he is apparently looking to bring in reinforcements in this area should not come as a surprise.
Kroos does not appear to be looking to actively force a move away from the Bernabeu, however in recent years, Real have developed a reputation for being just as willing to off-load their key players as they are to splash the cash on their latest ‘galactico’. After the sales of Mesut Özil and Angel Di Maria in recent years, Kroos could be the latest Real star to make a surprise switch to the Premier League.
The signing would certainly be well received by the City faithful. Kroos is among a small group of players who could force his way into any team in world football, and for him to begin the season in a sky blue shirt would be a real statement of intent from Guardiola after a number of relatively low-key signings thus far.
As mentioned previously, City are not particularly strong in terms of holding midfield options. Yes, they have a numbers of players who can carry out the role, but Kroos’ passing range and ability to influence a game at the highest level is on a wholly different level to the likes of Fabian Delph, Fernandinho and Fernando. The prospect of seeing him linking up with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in the centre of the park is certainly a mouthwatering one should the deal come off.
In addition, with City hoping to go further in the Champions League, it is imperative that they recruit players with plenty of experience at that level. The German fits the bill perfectly, having made 67 appearances in the competition, as well as winning it on two occasions in the last four years.
Kroos has been linked with City for months and it is no secret that Guardiola is a big fan of the player. Whether he can get his man is a different matter. Real are unlikely to let one of their most valuable assets leave on the cheap, and with Kroos unlikely to try and push the move over the line, the prospect of him taking to the field in a City shirt any time soon would appear to be a distant one. Nevertheless, things are starting to heat up in East Manchester and there is a tangible feeling of excitement as supporters wait to see what Guardiola’s next move will be.
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