Manchester United's hopes of luring Toni Kroos away from the Allianz Arena may have received a massive boost after Bayern Munich confirmed the signing of midfielder Sebastian Rode as his possible replacement.
After signing Juan Mata in January, United are expected to make an approach for Kroos in the summer, as his contract is set to expire at the end of the next season and the negotiations over a new deal with the German side are reportedly stalled.
But even though this summer will be their last chance to recoup a fee for the midfielder, Bayern have maintained a number of times that he is not for sale and that he will play in the Bundesliga next season.
Indeed, Kroos' agent Volker Struth recently admitted that his client is likely to stay in Germany until his contract expires.
"We are confronted with a variety of rumours for months but at the moment I believe that Toni plays in Bavaria until 2015 at least," Struth told the German newspaper Bild.
But the negotations may have suffered a setback after Bayern confirmed the signing of the 23-year-old Rode, who will join them at the end of the season on a free transfer once his current deal with Frankfurt expires.
With Javi Martinez, Philipp Lahm (who is a right back but this season has played as a midfielder), Thiago Alcantara, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze already in the squad, Rode's addition may signal that the club are preparing for the potential departure of Kroos,
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that the Premier League holders are trying to persuade Kroos with a £260,000-a-week salary.
According to the reports, the United manager is desperately looking to bolster his squad with Kroos and he believes that convincing the star to force his exit is the only way to complete the deal, as Bayern are unlikely to negotiate.