Manchester United on Friday signed star striker Wayne Rooney to a deal that will pay him $26 million per year in salary, making him possibly the highest-paid player in world football and one of the top-salaried athletes in the world.
Now, just days later, the faltering Manchester club is looking to rebuild its dynasty at any expense — preparing an offer to Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos for a staggering $21.6 million per year. In terms of British currency, the salary would come to £250,000 per week, that is, 83 percent of Rooney’s new £300,000 weekly wage.
Bayern Munich are said to be demanding a £30 million — or almost $50 million — transfer fee to let Kroos go. Italian giant Juventus, who currently lead Serie A, that country’s top flight are also hot to buy the services of Kroos.
The 24 year-old midfielder has been a prime target of Manchester United Manager David Moyes, who flirted with a bid for Kroos in the January transfer window. But Kroos sealed his Europe-wide reputation when he blasted in a goal for defending European champions Bayern in a Champions League showdown with Arsenal Wednesday night, in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 victory at the Emirates in North London.
Kroos, who was born in Greifswald, East Germany in the final days of that country’s existence as a separate entity and member of the Soviet bloc, is currently in the midst of a contractual dispute with the giant German club. Reportedly, he has demanded that Bayern double his pay to persuade him to stay, terms that Bayern Munich brass dismissed.
But the Manchester United offer, if it is actually as much as has been reported, would triple the heft of Kroos’s current wage packet.
Bayern Munich Manager Pep Guardiola is playing it cool with regard to his desire to keep the German international, who served as a regular substitute on Germany’s third-place squad in the the 2010 World Cup. Kroos has made 45 appearances for the German national team since he was called up in 2010.
“He is an important player,” said Guardiola, who left Barcelona in 2012 to take the manager’s position at Bayern a year later. “But it can go fast in football. Here today, there tomorrow.”
With their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace Saturday, Manchester United now sit in sixth position in the Barclay’s Premier League table. But they are still 11 points behind Liverpool, who edged Swansea 4-3 at Anfield Sunday and continue to hold a vice grip on the final Champions League qualifying spot.
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