The midfielder is entering the final year of his current contract with the club.

La Liga giants Real Madrid’s talismanic midfielder Toni Kroos is now 31 and nearing the twilight of his career.Though his agent has stated that he wants to retire at the club, reports of his exit have been rife, with his contract set to expire in 2023. The reason cited is search for a new challenge. 

His departure will leave a huge gap in the heart of the midfield at Real Madrid. The Los Blancos will find it hard to replace the former Bayern Munich player. Kroos has won 14 trophies in seven years with the club, establishing himself as a legend. Whoever comes in as a replacement will have massive shoes to fill to say the least. Here is a look at the top five replacements for Toni Kroos at Real Madrid:

5. Aurelien Tchouameni

Tchouameni can be a great replacement for Toni Kroos (Courtesy: Juve FC)

Aurelien Tchouameni is one of the most in-demand players in Europe at the moment. The midfielder has impressed with his performances for AS Monaco. Deservedly, he got a call-up to represent France on the international stage and is gaining the attention of elite clubs across the continent.

The 21-year-old will most likely change clubs in the upcoming transfer window. A bidding war could see Real Madrid compete against the likes of Manchester United and more for the player’s signature. Tchouameni would be a replacement for Toni Kroos with an eye towards the future. The club are heading into a transition and need young players to build a solid foundation for years to come.

4. Leon Goretzka

Leon Goretzka was close to leaving FC Bayern Munich last season with only a year left on his contract. However, the midfielder signed an extension to put any interest from other clubs on the back-burner. Having said that, Real Madrid were one of the parties interested in bringing the German midfielder to Spain.

The La Liga giants have a pull like no other and will most likely convince Goretzka to sign for them. He possesses similar qualities to Toni Kroos and comes from the same atmosphere as their current German legend. Goretzka can play multiple roles in midfield and has the winning mentality to succeed at Real Madrid.

3. Marco Veratti

Only few midfielders can compete alongside and stand on a similar platform as Toni Kroos in terms of passing. One of those figures is Marco Verratti, who is currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain. Real Madrid will look to sign a player who has ample experience and has won multiple trophies already. Verratti was crucial in Italy’s Euro 2020 win and will bring lots of quality to the squad.

The 29-year-old has spent nine years at PSG now and hence will be looking for a fresh challenge. Real Madrid also have the financial might to offer him a lucrative contract, which will run well into his mid-30s. Verratti is an exceptional midfielder who has unmatched passing accuracy and tenacity.

2. Jorginho

Apart from the Champion League, Jorginho also won Euro 2020 with Italy (Courtesy: Sports Lumo)

Jorginho joined Chelsea to play under Maurizio Sarri. The tactician left a season later, but Jorginho remained behind, representing the London-based club. The Italian has been in incredible form and was a crucial figure in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph. So much so that Jorginho became a strong contender to win the Ballon d’Or since he also won the UEFA Champions League with the Blues last season.

Jorginho is an incredible passer of the ball, a quality he shares with Kroos. The 29-year-old is seen struggling for game-time at Chelsea due to competition for a starting place with N’golo Kante. Real Madrid could have a brilliant player for a decent price in Jorginho, who will slot in perfectly alongside someone like Eduardo Camavinga.

1. Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba is likely heading towards the exit door at Manchester United after no progress in contractual negotiations. The club want to extend the Frenchman’s contract, but the astronomical wages the player is requesting are proving to be a blockade. As it stands, Pogba will be out of contract post June 2022 and will be available for free.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner with France will be the ideal replacement for Toni Kroos. He can play as a deep-lying playmaker and can be the focal point of Real Madrid through the transition. Furthermore, Los Blancos can sign Pogba on a free transfer by agreeing a pre-contract in the winter transfer window. Moreover, Pogba wants to win trophies and will have a better chance to do so with Real Madrid. 

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