In the most recent episode of his podcast entitled “Einfach mal luppen” Real Madrid and Germany national team midfielder Toni Kroos explained some of the reasons why his contract negotiations broke down at Bayern Munich in 2014 (via SportBild). The midfielder ultimately left Bayern for Madrid in the summer of 2014 for a fee of around €25m, but there have still been many unanswered questions as to why he really decided to leave Munich.
In the end, Bayern’s front office at the time didn’t agree with the valuation from Kroos’s agent, Volker Struth and felt that they were asking for way too much money, in a slightly similar way that David Alaba and Pini Zahavi’s wage demands are higher than Bayern is willing to offer right now. In his podcast, Kroos described Uli Hoeness’s initial reaction to the salary demands that had been presented to Bayern’s front office: “Mr. Hoeneß came to me at the time and said that what my advisor was demanding was cheeky. I told him: ‘That may be your opinion. But that’s what we’re demanding, not my advisor. I think he simply wanted to hear whether Toni was demanding it or whether the advisor wanted it.”
Essentially, Hoeness, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and the rest of Bayern’s front office thought the demands were too high at the time and wanted to see if it was more of Struth pushing those demands or Kroos himself. Of course, it was a collective agreement amongst both Struth and Kroos as far how much they felt he was worth. Their demands would’ve made him one of the higher earners at the club at that point in time, but certainly not the highest.
Struth also offered some insight himself of Kroos’s podcast and started by explaining an intense phone call with Matthias Sammer, who was sporting director at Bayern at the time.
“We have a great relationship with him. But things got very emotional on the phone when we hinted what our intentions were after the World Cup. It was like a head-to-head on the phone,” he said.
Struth also added that a large part of his rationale for constructing Kroos’s salary demands had to due with transfer market trends and inflation. He felt that it was more than feasible, because it would not have even made Kroos the top earner at Bayern: “Toni would not have been a top earner at Bayern with our demand and would not have been in the top five. It was a market demand.”
Hindsight is most often 20/20, but Bayern’s front office perhaps did not anticipate how much Kroos’ market value would increase after 2014 and winning the World Cup with Die Mannschaft in Brazil. While his market value has dropped a bit in the past two seasons with Real Madrid, it had certainly trended upward ever since he joined Los Blancos, reaching as high as €70m in 2018, per Transfermarkt.