Toni Kroos talks about how close he came to joining Manchester United in 2014

Toni Kroos remains one of the most influential midfielders in Europe as he approaches the twilight years of his career. Yet things could have panned out differently had he joined Manchester United rather than Real Madrid eight years ago.

Kroos would have no regrets over not joining United because of the success that he has enjoyed at the Bernabeu. He won a hat-trick of Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018 under the management of Zinedine Zidane.

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The 32-year-old has also won three La Liga titles in the Spanish capital. Madrid sealed the latest one after the 4-0 destruction of Espanyol on April 30. Kroos has also reached the pinnacle at international level, having been part of Germany’s World Cup-winning team of 2014.

Kroos became a hero at Madrid due to his expansive passing style, immense work rate and his ability at set-pieces. His contribution to the club will live long in the memory amongst the Los Blancos supporters.

Manchester United very nearly pipped Madrid in signing Kroos from Bayern Munich back in the 2013/14 season.

It would have been a huge coup for United to have signed Kroos, as the club were still feeling the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson following the managerial legend’s retirement.

How a Toni Kroos move to Manchester United nearly happened

David Moyes showed his determination in ensuring that Kroos joined United with a personal visit to Munich. He met the player and his family and really impressed the midfielder.

As per the Daily Mail, Kroos said about the meeting: “I knew beforehand that United wanted me. And 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.”

Moyes also conducted lengthy discussions with Kroos’ representatives Volker Struth and Sascha Breese to conclude a deal.

Kroos felt that he was undervalued at Bayern Munich at the time and that a move to England would rejuvenate his career. The midfield playmaker would have been a perfect replacement for Paul Scholes, who retired at the same time as Ferguson.

Moyes’ sacking resulted in Kroos moving to Real Madrid

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United sacked Moyes in April of the 2013/14 season after just ten months in charge at Old Trafford. Struth and Breese then began to negotiate with Real Madrid and Barcelona over a move to Spain.

Louis Van Gaal replaced Moyes after guiding Holland to third at the World Cup in Brazil. It is thought that he rejected any deal for Kroos, paving the way for his eventual move to Madrid.