By TIM FONTENAULT
German national team midfielder Toni Kroos has decided it’s time for a new challenge.
Kroos will be leaving Bayern Munich this summer, as the German club agreed to a 25 million euro ($34 million) fee with Real Madrid for the 24-year-old midfielder, according to Spanish publication Marca. Kroos first joined Bayern as a 16-year-old in 2006, and moved up the ranks before becoming a key cog in both Jupp Heynckes’ and Pep Guardiola’s sides.
Kroos was offered a bumper contract from Bayern during the past season to stay with the club, but the German did not want to sign a contract extension. This put Bayern in a position to either sell him now or watch him leave for free next summer.
Since making his first-team debut for Bayern in 2007, Kroos has played in more than 200 games and scored 23 goals in all competitions.
Here are other stories to be catch you up around the world of soccer:
LIVERPOOL WANT INCREASED BID FOR SUAREZ
Liverpool and Barcelona continue to discuss a move that would send Luis Suarez back to Spain, but the English club is demanding more money for the Premier League’s leading scorer.
Both clubs are committed to getting a deal done, but Liverpool want $137 million as opposed to the $103 million that Barcelona has reportedly offered, according to Sky Sports.
The two clubs also discussed the future of Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League. Liverpool are interested in the Chilean star, but if Sanchez joins the Premier League runners-up, it would likely be in a separate deal from the one for Suarez. Sanchez has also been linked to Arsenal.
Suarez is currently serving a four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
FRENCH GIANTS INTERESTED IN PETR CECH
Petr Cech’s agent Viktor Kolar says that Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco are interested in purchasing the Chelsea goalkeeper, who could be in danger of losing his starting spot at Stamford Bridge.
The French giants are not the only two sides that could be interested in Cech, however. Kolar has suggested that he would contact several teams across Europe if Cech were to be replaced at Chelsea by Thibaut Courtois. Numerous reports out of Spain in the past month have stated that Courtois is set for a permanent return to Chelsea but the goalkeeper has told reporters that he doesn’t plan on being second-choice to anyone and that he will decide his future after the World Cup.
“Paris Saint-Germain have shown interest and we have also communicated with Monaco,” Kolar told Czech newspaper Aktualne. “I would get in touch with (Andoni) Zubizarreta (at Barcelona) and people at Real Madrid. These are clubs we would consider if Chelsea wanted to get rid of Petr. We would also consider Bayern but they have (Manuel) Neuer there.”
Despite the speculation that Cech could lose his spot, Kolar has said that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has never given Cech any indication that he will not be the starting goalkeeper.
Cech has two years remaining on his contract with Chelsea.
MONACO’S RODRIGUEZ, FALCAO NOT FOR SALE
Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev says the French club does not have plans to part with Colombian stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao.
Both players joined Monaco during last summer’s shopping spree and helped the club to a second-place finish behind PSG in Ligue 1. Falcao missed out on the 2014 World Cup due to injury, but Rodriguez has been one of the tournament’s stars, helping Colombia to the quarterfinals, where they will play Brazil on Friday.
Rodriguez scored nine goals in 34 matches for Monaco last season and leads all players at the World Cup with five goals.
“Everyone was surprised at the large sum we spent last year and now everyone is talking about him. That means that we were right,” Vasilyev said at a press conference.
Vasilyev did acknowledge that no player is unsellable. Rodriguez has four years remaining on his contract and could be a target for ambitious clubs this summer.
“We strongly believe in this player, it is very important to us,” Vasilyev said.
While he may not be fit to play in time, Sergio Aguero continues his recovery from injury as Argentina prepares for the World Cup quarterfinals against Belgium (REPORT)
Galatasaray are reportedly in talks with former Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli (REPORT)
After dispute over payment in Brazil, Ghana will have contracts with players for 2018 World Cup (REPORT)
Almost one month after agreeing to terms, Emre Can has completed his move to Liverpool (REPORT)
What do you think of these developments? Should Barcelona give in to Liverpool’s price demand? Is Kroos a good fit at Real Madrid? Can Courtois unseat Cech?
Share your thoughts below.