Expert insight into Manchester United’s pursuit of Kroos, Schweinsteiger and Muller

by Sam Peoples

After the stand off with Toni Kroos and rumours of Bastian Schweinsteiger being offered to Manchester United, it’s fair to say the two clubs have developed an interesting relationship of late.

Louis Van Gaal may have opted not to go for Kroos, but United have also been credited with an interest in in Muller and Schweinsteiger, the latter of which is reportedly available for £10m but with United out of Europe, it could be a tough ask for United to sign anyone from Bayern.

Phillip Quinn, editor of the Bavarian Football Works, sheds some light on what is currently happening regarding Kroos whether or not United have any chance of signing either Schweinsteiger or Muller.

What is your take on the Toni Kroos situation?

I’ve believed for quite some time that Kroos has been angling for a bigger pay raise with his next Bayern contract extension. He has another year on his contract, and Bayern have shown in the past that they’re more than willing to let players walk after a contract expires instead of selling them early. However, it should be said, that out of all of the players to come out of the Bayern academy, most fans have considered Kroos the most likely to leave. In the end, I think Kroos will remain at Bayern Munich.

Do you believe that he could have joined Manchester United?

I think that it’s possible that Kroos was interested in listening to the offer. On whether or not he would’ve actually joined, I’m really 50/50 on that.

Now that United have stepped away from any possible transfer, do you see him agreeing a new deal with his club?

The rumoured hang up on Kroos signing an extension at Bayern has been money. According to reports, he’s been making around €4m a season and wants €8m which would put him up in the Schweinsteiger, Robben, and Ribery category. Bayern, again according to reports, only offering €6m a season right now. We’ll see which side blinks first.

Do you know any details of Kroos’ and Van Gaal’s relationship? What do you believe could have deterred him from the signing?

There have long been rumours that Kroos and Van Gaal were never “best buddies”, but this is sport. You don’t necessarily need to be best friends to be successful.

How does Guardiola value Kroos?

There’s no question that Guardiola values Kroos. Toni made 50 appearances this season for Bayern and was instrumental to the club’s success on the field. Toni’s ability to play as a holding midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, and attacking midfielder gives Guardiola a lot of options on how to deploy his team.

How does Guardiola value Muller? He has sometimes played as a false nine this season, in a manner to which Messi was used sometimes – did this style suit Bayern?

Müller is another player that appeared in 50 matches for Bayern this season. He was also the club’s second leading goalscorer in all competitions, finding the net 25 times. The false 9 formation isn’t Bayern’s best, but it does give the club an additional wrinkle that they can display. There’s a reason that the club pursued Robert Lewandowski over the last season. This team does operate better with a centre forward.

Thomas Muller was given a chance in the first team by Van Gaal. Do you believe he may seek a move to re-establish himself with his old boss?

I don’t expect any players leaving the club this summer that the club really want to retain. The one that is most likely to leave is Mario Mandzukic after his falling out with Guardiola. Müller is too valuable a player for Bayern to let leave. They will take care of him enough, so the thought of leaving isn’t there.

Will Muller’s role within the team change with the signing of Robert Lewandowski?

The signing of Lewandowski means that Müller will be asked to play up top as a striker far less. It’s not his best position. Over the years, we’ve discovered that Müller is at his best when he’s able to find space in and around a defence and the addition of Lewandowski to man the front line should make this a lot easier for Müller.

Graham Hunter stated Schweinsteiger was offered to United because Guardiola doesn’t believe he is good in possession. Have the two had a rift this season?

I don’t believe that the club “offered” Schweinsteiger to United.

Do you believe Schweinsteiger could leave Bayern Munich this summer?

I can not see Schweinsteiger leaving Bayern this summer. In fact, barring an absolute falling out with the club, I think we’ll see Schweinsteiger eventually retire at the club.

How has Schweinsteiger performed this season compared to recent years?

He wasn’t at his best this year, but he also spent roughly a quarter of the season injured. In addition to his injuries, there wasn’t a really good chance for Schweinsteiger to establish a good central midfield partnership with Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez also missing significant time this year.

Do you believe United made the right option in picking Van Gaal as manager?

I believe that Van Gaal is the perfect manager for Manchester United right now. He’s not afraid to shake things up, and that’s what the club needs after a hundred years of Sir Alex Ferguson. He’ll likely wear out his welcome after a couple of years, but you can enjoy the ride in the meantime.

What should we expect from him?

They desperately need someone with a keen eye in the transfer market. Watching United this season, it was apparent that the cabinets were left kind of barren by the last regime, and the club didn’t spend wisely in the last window. Van Gaal isn’t afraid to bring in new players, and he also enjoys promoting kids from within the club. The talented youngsters at Manchester United better be prepared for the opportunity to impress Van Gaal, because he will offer it to them.

Do you believe that anyone from Bayern Munich could leave for Old Trafford?

At this point, I can’t see anyone under contract at Bayern leaving the club for Manchester this summer, especially after United failed to qualify for Europe.

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