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Real Madrid 'draw up three-man shortlist of Toni Kroos replacements'

:Headline: Real Madrid 'draw up three-man shortlist of Toni Kroos replacements':
Real Madrid reportedly draw up a three-man shortlist of potential replacements for midfielder Toni Kroos, who is retiring from football after Euro 2024.
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Real Madrid have reportedly drawn up a three-man shortlist of potential replacements for midfielder Toni Kroos.

The 34-year-old announced earlier this week that he will be leaving Los Blancos and retiring from football after representing Germany at Euro 2024 this summer.

Kroos, widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, has spent the last 10 seasons at Real Madrid, making over 460 appearances and winning a total of 22 trophies.

The 108-cap Germany international helped Carlo Ancelotti's side win the La Liga title this season and is hoping to end his time at the club on a high by lifting his fifth Champions League trophy when they lock horns with Borussia Dortmund in the final on June 3.

With his contract expiring in the summer, Kroos believes that now is the right time to hang up his boots, forcing Real Madrid to delve into the transfer market for a replacement.

Kimmich, Barella, Veerman on Real Madrid's radar

According to FootballTransfers, Real Madrid have identified Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich, Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella and PSV Eindhoven's Joey Veerman as three potential midfielders to replace Kroos this summer.

Kimmich has been tipped to seek pastures new this summer after spending almost a decade at Bayern Munich, making 390 appearances and winning 20 trophies, including eight Bundesliga titles.

The versatile 29-year-old, who can play in midfield or at right-back, will soon be entering the final 12 months of his contract and has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.

A potential move to the English top flight has also been mooted for Inter star Barella, who was a key figure in the Nerazzurri side that has cruised to the Serie A title this season - currently sitting 19 points clear at the summit with one game remaining.

The box-to-box midfielder has made 234 appearances in all competitions for Inter over the last five seasons, and Real Madrid could face complications with persuading the Italy international to leave San Siro as he is allegedly planning to extend his contract beyond 2026.

Veerman's rise alerts Real Madrid

Meanwhile, PSV midfielder Veerman has elevated his game to new heights since joining the club from Heerenveen in 2022 and has particularly excelled in the 2023-24 campaign.

Indeed, the 25-year-old has scored five goals and provided an Eredivisie-high 16 assists in 29 league appearances and has been a key player in the club's title-winning season.

Veerman has been called up to the Netherlands' provisional squad for Euro 2024, and manager Ronald Koeman has stated that he would like to see the midfielder play at a higher level.

"I think he is so good for the Netherlands," Koeman said on Dutch podcast Veronica Offside. "I would like to see him in midfield in Spain, Italy, Germany or England. That is the highest level in terms of everything. I think he is ready in many respects for a move abroad."

PSV will be keen to keep hold of Veerman, who still has over two years remaining on his contract at Philips Stadion.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
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7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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