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Toni Kroos has decided to join United, reportedly

According to reports, the Bayern Munich midfielder has made up his mind to join Manchester United at the end of the season.

Laurence Griffiths

Transfer sagas are really weird things. Manchester United are interested in Toni Kroos, as you may have heard. This interest then naturally manifests itself as a series of whispers from club to agent, agent to press, press to public, public to one another, agent to press again, club to agent again, agent to player, player to agent, player to other club, agent to press again, press to public again, and so on and on until the heat death of the universe.

The overwhelming impression is less of a collection of grown-ups interacting, and more a cross between the less malign side of the school playground and a BBC costume drama. United like you! Well, please inform United that should they happen to call on me between the hours of four and five this afternoon, I would be most content to receive them. Kroos would look quite good in a bonnet, come to think of it. If you're reading, Pep ...

Anyway, we've arrived at the 'transfer target has informed his teammates that he wants to leave' stage of this particular tale, which revelation forms the basis of today's Mirror EXCLUSIVE. (At least this does actually appear to be an exclusive, which is rare for UK tabloid-land.) That £40m fee that was floating around last week is still quoted, as is a reported £200,000 a week contract, which would make Kroos officially two-thirds as good as Wayne Rooney.

Perhaps the most interesting nugget here is that Kroos is, apparently, not just motivated by the chance to swim through gigantic mountains of Glazer-cash in the Scrooge McDuck fashion. No, he's also thinking of his own career, his prestige and his standing:

Kroos has told team-mates and pals that he would rather be first choice than play second fiddle to Bastian Schweinsteiger at the Bavarian giants.

"Hi Toni, how's it going?" "Morning, Arjen. Better to reign in Trafford, than serve in Munich." "Oh, okay. Er, I'll just call the Mirror."