Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos has been warned to think carefully about his future as he stalls on a new contract amid interest from Manchester United.
The midfielder, who is contracted to Bayern until the summer of 2015, has already turned down one offer to extend his current deal at the Allianz Arena despite claiming that he is still happy at Bayern.
United reportedly sounded out the possibility of signing the Germany international during the January transfer window , but Kroos has been urged to carefully consider the realities of leaving Bayern by both club captain Phillip Lahm and former midfielder Mehmet Scholl.
"It is normal that one explores their position and negotiate," Lahm was quoted as saying by Bild when quizzed on Kroos' contract standoff.
"If you currently play for Bayern there are few alternatives, if any. It is, in my eyes, an absolute privilege to play here because the team simply has the mentality to win. Many players come to Bavaria. So you have to think carefully about whether you leave a club like this at the moment."
The impasse between Kroos and Bayern produced a more assertive response from Scholl, whose trophy laden career in Bayern's midfield spanned 15 years. The 43-year-old likened the situation to a game of poker, warning the 24-year-old that his approach may eventually come back to haunt him.
"I think it is not wise for Toni to play poker too much with Bayern," Scholl told TZ via Goal.com.
"This is how it seems at the moment. His current wages are enough for him to have warm food on the table twice a day already. "
Speculation regarding Kroos' future was intensified after manager Pep Guardiola left him on the bench for Bayern's last two Bundesliga victories having already hauled him off early in a win over Stuttgart prior to that, a move that produced a frustrated reaction from the player.
Guardiola later explained his absence was simply for tactical reasons and the midfielder returned to the starting line-up as Bayern thrashed Hamburg 5-0 to seal their place in the semi-finals of the German Cup on Wednesday.