Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Real Madrid star Toni Kroos, with Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho said to view the German World Cup winner as the final piece of the midfield jigsaw alongside Paul Pogba.
United have already bought Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk so far this summer, while Marouane Fellaini's new contract is expected to be announced imminently.
But Spanish publication AS alleges that United are also keen to land Kroos and are ready to make a 'great offer' to prise him away from Los Blancos.
Mourinho is said to have given Kroos' name to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at a meeting that took place in recent days as they discussed the upcoming 2018/19 season, seeing the three-time Champions League winner as the 'essential backbone'.
United would attempt to convince the 28-year-old that his future lies away from the Bernabeu in a new challenge in the Premier League where he would be one of the key players.
The problem is that Kroos remains contracted to Real until 2022 and has a prohibitive €500m buyout clause. He is also seen as 'fundamental' to the project about to start under new coach Julen Lopetegui and Madrid are not worried by United's rumoured interest.
United were previously close to signing Kroos from former club Bayern Munich in 2014, shortly after he played an integral role in Germany's journey to World Cup glory.
A deal is thought to have been arranged towards the end of David Moyes' time at Old Trafford, but new boss Louis van Gaal is believed to have turned it down when the transfer was ready to be finalised. That was despite his role in making Kroos a first team regular at Bayern in 2010.