Manchester United's hopes of bringing Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos to the Premier League have been further damaged after the midfielder expressed he belongs to the Bavarians.
The German's future at the Allianz Arena is uncertain because his contract expires next summer and after talks over a new deal stalled earlier in the year, Bayern will be presented with their last chance to recoup a fee should he choose to leave this summer.
After last night's 1-1 Champions League draw against Manchester United, the 24-year-old told Munich's TZ newspaper: "It [Old Trafford] is a beautiful stadium. But I belong to Bayern Munich and that is good."
After signing playmaker Juan Mata during the January transfer window, United boss David Moyes is planning a huge overhaul of his squad in the summer and has earmarked the signing of a creative midfielder as his primary summer target – and he is lining up a summer move for Kross and has had him watched repeatedly.
Bayern want to keep the young midfielder, but chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admits he does not know what will happen when his contract expires in June 2015, saying: "He will certainly play at Bayern next year. What is beyond that, I do not know."
The German international is confident Bayern will progress to the semi-finals when the sides meet again next week and told the club's official website: "It was a tough game.
"We dominated the match, but Man United gave their all and they were dangerous.
"We deserved the 1-1 draw at the end of the day. The result is OK. We have got every chance in the return game."