Arsenal’s move for Sami Khedira may not be dead yet. After a summer of speculation, noise around a potential deal appeared to have died away. However, stories have resurfaced suggesting that Real Madrid could be eager to sell before the end of the summer transfer window.
The crux of the issue is that Khedira’s contract expires in a year’s time. If Madrid do not sell now, they risk losing him for free. Reports in Marca (h/t The Mirror) claim that he may have reached an accord to join Bayern Munich for nothing next summer:
Arsenal's bid to sign Sami Khedira could have been given an unexpected boost.
The Gunners see the German international as the ideal recruit this summer as they hope to add some more class to their already strong-looking midfield.
The move looked dead in the water only a matter of weeks ago with indications suggesting the 27-year-old wanted upwards of £150,000 to join up. But reports in Spain now suggest a deal could be back on with Real Madrid apparently ready to sell this summer.
Marca say that Bayern Munich have emerged as suitors for Khedira, and are keen on snapping him up on a free next summer when his contract expires.
As such Los Blancos are said to be keen to cash in this offseason and avoid losing the midfielder for nothing in 12 months time.
Losing Khedira without attaining a fee is an unpalatable thought for Real. A player of his class could command as much as €20 million on the open market, even with such a precarious contract situation. They will be eager to push through a sale while they can still capitalise on the German international’s value.
That could suit Arsenal. Admittedly, Arsene Wenger loves a bargain, and has previously waited until a player’s contract has run down to secure them for nothing. The protracted transfer of Marouane Chamakh from Bourdeaux is one such example. However, his frugal instincts can not be allowed to take priority over Arsenal’s need for a powerful holding midfielder.
Arsenal's current options still fail to convince. Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta get older and wearier with each passing day, and the passage of time also feels like an inexorable march towards Abou Diaby’s next injury. If there is one area of the squad still urgently requiring attention, this is undoubtedly it.
Although new signing Calum Chambers can operate in midfield, he has never played there at senior level. His experience in the position comes primarily in Southampton’s youth team, and it seems like a huge task for him to immediately acclimatise to fulfilling that role at Premier League level.
Khedira fits the bill. Although he is not a conventional holding player, he has the physical presence that Arsenal’s midfield patently lacks. It is not difficult to imagine him adapting to playing a sitting role, breaking up the play as well as occasionally breaking forward to support Aaron Ramsey. Khedira is a complete midfielder, and as such could function well in most areas of the field.
He’d also fit neatly with Arsenal’s growing German contingent. A few years ago, Arsene Wenger spotted the trend towards German excellence, and began to recruit them for his squad. Khedira is good pals with Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil. His presence in the squad would fan the flames of Arsenal’s growing team spirit.
Having been resurrected, it feels a little like this saga could drag until the end of the window. Although Wenger may be prepared to outlay for Khedira’s services to secure him a year only, he won’t want to pay over the odds. The talks between Arsenal and Real Madrid will be tense and lengthy, as both sides look to ensure they get the best possible deal. It would not be a great surprise if Arsenal fans are still anticipating the possible arrival of Khedira on the very last day of the summer transfer window.
If they get the marauding German midfielder, it will almost certainly have been worth the wait.