Jose Mourinho may have acquired Brazilian midfielder Fred over the summer but the Portuguese manager appears unconvinced about his ability to bring the best out of Paul Pogba in the heart of Manchester United midfield. The Reds Devils coughed up around £52m to Shakhtar Donetsk for Fred yet Mourinho still isn’t satisfied.
The incoming Fred, currently at the World Cup with Brazil, was heralded as the perfect partner to the Frenchman after the likes of Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and even the retired Michael Carrick couldn’t do the job perfectly.
Blessed with superb pace, energy and physical presence, the 25-year-old is dynamic and can shield the defence, potentially leveraging Pogba to attack. He’s got those brilliant passes in him too, meaning there won’t be too many headaches playing out from the back.
Yet it appears Mr Mourinho has other plans, Spanish newspaper AS is reporting that the 55-year-old is eyeing a return to his former club for Toni Kroos. The report claims Mourinho has told CEO Ed Woodward that he sees the 28-year-old Real Madrid star as the ideal partner for Pogba.
Kroos has been with the record European champions since 2014 and during this period, among numerous honours, he won the Champions League three times and La Liga once. Even though the German has a running contract till 2022, yet he could be attempted towards a fresh challenge in the English Premier League.
For that to happen, however, the Red Devils must meet an almost impossible £443m release clause, this would potentially make him the world’s most expensive buy, eclipsing Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Being the kind of player that rarely gets noticed in games, Kroos will allow Pogba to enjoy the spotlight alone. The German is content at keeping it simple, distributing the passes without necessarily trying anything spectacular. His superb technique, vision and calmness sets him apart from others in his position.
Kroos was part of the German team that crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages, Joachim Low’s men relinquished their title without a fight after a shock defeat to South Korea but the ex-Bayern Munich superstar still managed to impress.
Unlike Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, Kroos was irreplaceable in the middle, he started all three matches and hit a superb free-kick to win the clash with Sweden.
Should Mourinho succeed to get his man, then we could see a midfield three of Matic, Kroos and Pogba, with the Frenchman playing further forward. In the event of the opposite, then United fans should expect Fred to take the German’s place.