SAO PAULO – Germany star Toni Kroos will follow up his World Cup destruction of Brazil by completing a blockbuster transfer to Spanish giant Real Madrid.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca and an independent source, Madrid is already planning a ceremony to unveil the 24-year-old midfielder, who was man of the match after scoring twice against Brazil on Tuesday, in a deal worth around $42 million.
The arrangement with his current club Bayern Munich was arranged before the 7-1 thumping and Kroos' incredible display, so the transfer price and his estimated wages of $16 million per season will be unchanged.
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Kroos refused to comment on his club future after the semifinal, but a Yahoo Sports' source said things are "all wrapped up and ready to go" and that Kroos will head up the Madrid midfield next season, the strengthening of which is seen as an area of priority.
The transfer has an odd twist to it as well. Manchester United was initially in pole position to capture Kroos with former United boss David Moyes having worked long and hard to arrange a deal for the player during the early months of 2014.
It appeared that United had its man, but when Moyes was axed towards the end of a desperately poor campaign, everything changed. Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal will step into the United hot seat at the end of the World Cup and reportedly told club chiefs that he did not want Kroos, urging them to instead sign Ander Herrera from Spain’s Athletic Bilbao.
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Quite what Kroos will make of that snub remains to be seen, but he will certainly have few complaints about moving to the reigning European champion, where he will play alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Madrid looks to be getting a player worth his weight in gold. Greats of the game are lining up to laud him: Dutch legend Johan Cruyff described him as "nearly perfect," while German World Cup-winner Lothar Matthaus called him a "genius."
He has certainly shown it so far. Against Brazil, Kroos was the mastermind of breaking down the home team. He completed a game-high 71 passes, with an off-the-charts success rate of 93 percent. He had a hand in the first two goals, then scored the third and fourth himself. By then, Brazil was already done.
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But Kroos and his colleagues know that for all their brilliance at the Estadio Mineirao, another huge effort will be needed to complete the job on Sunday.
"We've come here to become world champions and no one has ever done that in a semifinal," Kroos said. "We will have an extremely difficult last match; it will be tighter than this one. We will have to deliver another top performance or we will lose the final. I am convinced we will deliver a great final. I have every confidence we will do this."
On current form, it is hard to doubt him.
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