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Football: World Cup winner Kroos joins Real

Toni Kroos on Thursday (July 17) became Real Madrid's first high profile signing for the new season, moving from Bayern Munich on a six-year deal just days after winning the World Cup with Germany.

MADRID: Toni Kroos on Thursday (July 17) became Real Madrid's first high profile signing for the new season, moving from Bayern Munich on a six-year deal just days after winning the World Cup with Germany.

The 24-year-old playmaker had an outstanding World Cup, scoring two goals in two minutes in the 7-1 semi-final rout of Brazil, en route to overcoming Argentina 1-0 in Sunday's final.

Spanish media said Real and Bayern agreed a deal worth between 25 million and 30 million euros (US$33-$40 million). The two clubs said the transfer fee would remain secret.

Kroos is due to be unveiled by his new employers at a press conference on Thursday. His arrival could hasten the departure of fellow German Sami Khedira who risks losing his midfield place.

Real hailed their latest catch as "one of the most important players of the moment." A Real statement described Kroos as "a playmaker capable of finding the best option in any situation, with a vision of the game enabling him to help his teammates, as well as an impressive kick."

Kroos, whose contract with Bayern expired next season, sided with Real over alternatives such as Manchester United or Chelsea.

A Bayern statement confirmed it had made a deal with Real and that Kroos had signed a six year contract. "The two clubs have agreed to remain silent about the transfer fee," it said.

"We thank Toni Kross for his time at Munich," said Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "We have experienced great successes with him."

Kroos arrives at the Santiago Bernabeu with 11 trophies already on his cv, the World Cup the jewel in a collection including the 2013 Champions League, Bundesliga titles and the Club World Cup. He joined Bayern as a teenager in 2007, making his first team appearance at the age of 17. He became a regular after an 18-month loan spell at Bundesliga rivals Bayern Leverkusen.

This is the second high profile World Cup player to move to La Liga this month, following Luis Suarez's reported 95 million euros (US$128 million) transfer from Manchester City to Real's arch rivals Barcelona.

The path from the World Cup to Spain could also see Monaco's Colombia hotshot James Rodriguez join Kroos at Real. The World Cup's top scorer with six goals told Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday: "I'd jump at the chance of going to Real Madrid."

Real have also been linked with a move for Keylor Navas, the goalkeeper whose heroics helped Costa Rica reach the World Cup quarter finals. Navas plays with Levante in the Spanish first division and his arrival would increase pressure on Iker Casillas already criticised for his role in Spain's World Cup collapse.

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