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Passing master class from German Chelsea target downs Portugal

| 17.06.2014

Like Spain and Holland in Group B, Germany and Portugal being drawn together in Group G was among the most eagerly anticipated clashes at the World Cup.

In a continuation of Holland’s decimation of the defending champions, the scoreline was similarly lopsided as Germany ran out 4-0 winners.

While Thomas Muller grabbed himself a hat-trick, one of the stars of the piece was his Bayern Munich teammate Toni Kroos.

As a player who had occupied his fair share of transfer column inches before the tournament began, Kroos’ performance will only serve to ramp up the speculation about his future at club level.

The 24-year-old is in a well-documented impasse with the Bundesliga outfit over an extension to his contract, which expires next summer.

Kroos is keen to land himself a wage hike, while Bayern would rather keep any pay rise to a minimum as they feel the midfielder doesn’t deserve to match the club’s highest earners.

Having had a hand in the German’s second goal, a thumping Mats Hummels header from Kroos’ corner, the Greifswald native also put on a passing lesson for his Portuguese opponents, completing 76 of the 79 he attempted.

Manchester United have long admired the German’s talent, which is 33/1 to land him the player of the tournament award, but a lack of European football next season is thought to be a stumbling block to any move.

Real Madrid would also like to add Kroos to their playing staff but it’s Chelsea, who are reportedly willing to offer him £7m-a-year to join them, who lead the foot race.

Many more performances of the Portugal calibre will only see speculation surrounding Kroos increase but with Chelsea, who have already signed Cesc Fabregas this summer, happy to splash the cash, any competitors for the Munich man’s signature are going to be hard-pressed to contend.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.