herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

kroos's yet to befuture decided

Toni Kroos' future will be resolved by tommorow at the latest, with the Germany international's agent denying an agreement has already been reached with Real Madrid.

Kroos is out of contract with Bayern Munich in a year's time and is in all likelihood set to leave the club this summer.

It has been reported that the 24-year-old has agreed terms with Real, and that Bayern had also accepted an offer from the Champions League holders.

However, his agent Volker Struth says nothing has yet been signed and that he will discuss the future with Kroos on his return from Brazil today.

"It has not yet been decided where Kroos' future lies, I can guarantee that," Struth stressed.

Struth says Kroos will meet with him in Majorca today, after his and the rest of the World Cup-winning Germany team's welcome back in Berlin, and a decision will be made within 24 hours.

"We'll sit down and decide what's to be done," he said. "We will announce his decision either on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning."

Kroos has already turned down Bayern's offer of a new contract and looks set to leave the Bundesliga champions off the back of an impressive tournament in Brazil.

Manchester United have also been linked with the midfielder, who played under their new manager Louis van Gaal at Bayern.

Meanwhile, as the party moves from Brazil to Europe a new era has dawned in world football.

Germany as Weltmeister? It fits. Third place in 2006 and 2010, the Euro 2008 beaten finalists and semi-finalists at Euro 2012, one can hardly say it had not been coming. "We started this project 10 years ago," said coach Joachim Löw. The only question that remains is how much longer the great German 21st-century generation can continue to dominate the game.

In football, we have come to believe that all success comes in cycles and that even the best must eventually cede the throne, or, like Spain at this World Cup, have it seized from them.

But Germany have refined a system that is consistently producing players of the top level. In this tournament alone they were denied Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan and Lars Bender through injury. Julian Draxler, the highly prized Schalke midfielder, played just 14 minutes. Even Mario Götze, the substitute who scored the match-winning goal in the final, was lightly used.

Last season at Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola challenged Götze to try to attain the levels that Lionel Messi has reached. It will be intriguing to see how Götze develops in his second season at Bayern. His winning goal is one further step towards being the level of player which Germany believe he can be.

Aside from the 36-year-old Miroslav Klose, now surely set to call time on his glorious international career, the oldest outfield player in the squad is Philipp Lahm, at 30. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be 33 come the next World Cup finals; Manuel Neuer will be 32; Mats Hummels, 29; Thomas Müller, 28; Götze, 26. They will all be more than capable of defending their title, the question will be whom the Germans have developed by then to challenge the older guard.

"You never know what happens in the future," Schweinsteiger said. "But we are fit, we are hungry and we have some good players who are around 25 years of age. It will give us hunger. The important thing is that the young guys have the experience of this tournament. Experience is very important." in football."

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