Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Real Madrid's lack of urgency will drag out midfielder's move
The German could link up with his World Cup winning team-mates Lukas Podolski, Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker in north London
Tuesday 15 July 2014
There were cries of “Arsenal, Arsenal!” at Germany’s World Cup celebrations in Berlin today. They appeared to come from the mouth of Lukas Podolski in response to Sami Khedira being asked about his future.
As Arsène Wenger’s German reunification plans continue – if he signs, Khedira will be back alongside Mesut Özil, his team-mate at Real Madrid and in the Germany 2009 Under-21 European Championship-winning side that beat England 4-0 in the final – what seems most clear cut is that Khedira will not be at Real Madrid when the transfer window closes.
The midfielder has no intention of signing a new deal in Madrid, and with one year left on his existing contract, Real want to sell him now instead of losing him for nothing in the summer of 2015.
But what may yet draw out the deal is Real Madrid’s lack of urgency. Khedira has just become only the 10th player in history to win the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year and his performances in Brazil have pushed up his price.
The player’s demands are also likely to slow down the operation. His net salary of €3.2m (£2.5m) leaves him down at the bottom of Real Madrid’s pay scale. He has long since felt undervalued and is now asking for something in the region of £150,000 a week from what will be the main contract of his playing career.
Video: Germany win fourth World Cup
Sceptical voices at Arsenal have noted that injury meant he actually played very little part in Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning season, returning only for the final. He is 27 and available for nothing in a year, so although the club’s willingness to spend appears to have increased dramatically in the last 12 months, an asking price of £25m is unlikely to be met.
Khedira’s reputation as a “soldier” player who will carry out orders to the letter on the pitch helped make him a favourite of Jose Mourinho, who signed him on the basis of his intelligence and character – and his 2010 World Cup performance statistics, that had him covering more ground than all but three of the other players in the tournament, and coming out top in terms of what Fifa’s number crunchers called “intensive activity time”. Madrid would naturally welcome a bidding war for the player they signed from Stuttgart in 2010 for around £8m – precisely as he was about to enter his last season under contract.
Real hope to unveil the Germany midfielder Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich this week prior to their summer tour of the United States, which comprises matches against Internazionale, Roma and Manchester United on 26 and 29 July and 2 August.
Khedira is not due back in training until 5 August. Today he was busy celebrating Germany’s World Cup success with Podolski, Özil and Per Mertesacker who could all soon become club team-mates.
What all sides will want to avoid is a repeat of last pre-season when Manchester United made a £34m bid for the player too late to beat the transfer deadline.
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez: The many (animated) faces of Arsenal's Chilean forward
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke