Toni Kroos
Kroos has won the World Cup and the Champions League since turning down Manchester United. Getty Images


  • The Germany international was close to moving to Old Trafford in 2014.
  • Kroos eventually joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich for £20m.
  • Moyes compares 26-year-old to Xabi Alonso and Andrea Pirlo after Euro 2016 performances.

Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed he wanted to sign Toni Kroos prior to the Germany international joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2014. The 26-year-old was linked with a move to Old Trafford prior to the Scot's sacking after just eight months in charge, with the failure to successfully lure top targets to the club among his greatest failures.

During Moyes' ill-fated spell at the helm, the Manchester Evening News claimed the 20-time league champions were interested in a £37.1m ($49.6m) move for Kroos. The move never materialised. as Moyes was dismissed after failing to guide the club into the Champions League.

Kroos went on to join Real from Bayern Munich in a deal worth £20m, according to The Guardian, and has since won the Champions League for a second time, after beating cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan. With the German national team, Kroos is already a world champion and has pulled the strings on his side's ongoing run to the last eight of the European Championship.

Jose Mourinho has meanwhile inherited a United midfield in disarray, further emphasising the failure to acquire Kroos from Bayern less than 12 months after Paul Scholes announced his retirement from football for a second time. Kroos becomes the latest name added to the list of players who Moyes failed to draft in at United, who also claims to have missed out on luring Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo to the club.

"Kroos is a special talent, probably the closest thing at this tournament to a Xabi Alonso, an Andrea Pirlo or Paul Scholes," he told The Sunday Times. "It's the number of times he gets on the ball, his vision, his choice of when to play long or short. He's got a great array of passes and the big thing for me is he tries to make winning passes. He tries to make passes that play teammates through. He's not one who just goes sideways and backwards.

"He's a quarterback of a midfield player, who can open you up with one pass, and there aren't many like that. Like Scholes, Alonso and Pirlo, he'll also try and get forward when he can and have a few shots — because he's such a good striker of the ball. He doesn't just sit in front of the back four.

"I wanted to bring Kroos to Manchester United, from Bayern. I thought his range of passing and his ability to play people in would have made him a top United player, maybe Scholes' heir. He's gone on and shown at Real Madrid what a fantastic footballer he is."