Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos has added spice to tonight's Champions League quarter-final tie between the holders and Manchester United by declaring that he wants to quit the club this summer – for Old Trafford.
And despite Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge immediately dismissing such a move, the German giants have said that before — most notably before Mario Gomez left for Fiorentina last summer.
United boss David Moyes is expected to be handed a £160m transfer kitty this summer and Kroos figures high on his list of targets. Indeed United are understood to have been close to landing the 24-year-old during the January transfer window and he has already told Bayern team-mates that he is keen to join the Red Devils.
The midfielder, who is expected to be a big part of Germany’s World Cup challenge this summer, is nearing the end of his contract at Bayern and he could be snapped up for a bargain £20million this summer, 12 months before he is due to become a free agent.
Bayern have tried to tie Kroos to a new contract, but he is asking more than double his current wage of £60,000 a week and United will meet those demands.
First, however, Kroos will attempt to knock Moyes’ side out of the Champions League tonight, after the defending European champions drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in last week’s first leg.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola expects United to park the bus when they come to the Allianz Arena.
"They are so defensive," the Bayern coach said when asked about his experience of playing English teams. They use the counter-attack very well.
"It's always difficult when one team stays there just to defend, and waits until you make a mistake.
"Obviously when they play at home they attack a little bit more but when they play away they defend. Maybe (United manager) David Moyes thinks another thing, but I think they are going to wait back with eight or nine players in the box, await our mistake and wait for a free-kick or a corner to punish us."
He added: "If we are not in the Champions League semi-finals it would be a huge mistake for the new manager. If we are not in the final this club cannot deal with that.”