How Manchester United blew signing the world’s best midfielder of the past decade, Scholes wanted it, Moyes agreed it

Back in 2014, Manchester United were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. The night had started well, with Patrice Evra scoring a stunner. 

In the end, Bayern outplayed Manchester United, with Toni Kroos operating as their midfield maestro. As his team won 3-1, he had 92 touches and produced three opportunities for goals.

This occurred as Kroos was heavily linked to a transfer to Old Trafford. His agent was seen having a meeting with David Moyes, his employer at the time.

Ten years later, in 2024, Kroos is still having an impact in the Champions League. This week, in an exciting first leg of the semi-final that ended 2-2, his cutting pass set up Vinicius Jr. for a goal against his previous club, Bayern.

Back in 2014, the silver lining of defeat to Bayern was that United might win a bigger battle, by signing Kroos in the summer. It didn’t happen, and the Red Devils have regretted it ever since.

How Manchester United blew the Toni Kroos deal

In the end, Bayern outplayed Manchester United, with Toni Kroos operating as their midfield maestro. As his team won 3-1, he had 92 touches and produced three opportunities for goals.

This occurred as Kroos was heavily linked to a transfer to Old Trafford. His agent was seen having a meeting with David Moyes, his employer at the time.

Ten years later, in 2024, Kroos is still having an impact in the Champions League. This week, in an exciting first leg of the semi-final that ended 2-2, his cutting pass set up Vinicius Jr. for a goal against his previous club, Bayern.

Two weeks after losing in Munich, on April 22, Moyes was fired due to his team’s inability to perform on the field.

It caused havoc with United’s transfer plans for the second summer in a row. Louis van Gaal was named as the new manager, however he didn’t begin his position until after the 2014 World Cup.

This created a vacuum, and United attempted to fill it following the humiliating summer transfer window of 2013. Furthermore, Toni Kroos was left out, even though Talksport said that his price might only be £20 million.

Late in May, The Guardian revealed that Louis van Gaal decided against going after the center midfield player, whom he was previously familiar with from his stint as Bayern manager.

The lack of a sporting director to facilitate the Kroos trade caused it to fall through the cracks.

Prior to Van Gaal’s appointment, in 2020, Kroos informed The Athletic that he was prepared to sign. Later, Real Madrid lured him away with a bid of somewhat more than £20 million.

The German said: “David Moyes had come to see me and the contract had basically been done but then Moyes was fired and Louis van Gaal came in, which complicated matters.

“Louis wanted time to build his own project. I didn’t hear anything from United for a while and started having doubts. Then the World Cup started and Carlo Ancelotti called. And that was it.”

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes had said at the time: “The first player I’d bring in is Toni Kroos. He’s a top-class central midfield player.”

A year later, United and Van Gaal signed his aging teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger, who had been sent out in the first leg of that quarterfinal at Old Trafford and had missed the second leg.

While Kroos is still going strong, his time at United was very terrible. Jose Mourinho eventually shunned him, and he eventually retired.

When asked what his biggest transfer regret has ever been, David Moyes still thinks back on the near miss, telling beIN SPORTS that “Toni Kroos would certainly be the one.”

At Manchester United, midfield has always been a weakness over the last ten years, but Kroos may have altered everything.

What Toni Kroos has won since

Even if he could have solved it, Toni Kroos will likely look back on his incredible success at Real Madrid and realize that, for the most part, he was lucky to escape the chaos at Manchester United during the past ten years.

He teamed up with Casemiro and Luka Modric to form one of the most potent midfield trios in recent memory.

Before going on a tear of club triumphs with Real Madrid, he won the 2014 World Cup with Germany.

Kroos has four Champions League championships and three La Liga crowns. This season, he has an opportunity to add a fifth.

In addition, he has three UEFA Super Cups, five Club World Cup trophies, and the Copa del Rey.

Kroos is just 34 years old. The likelihood is that United would continue to press for his arrival this summer if the Glazers were still adhering to their transfer policy.

The German midfielder is still one of the best. As in 2014, United continues to alternate between sixth and seventh place in the Premier League standings.

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