Sami Khedira transfer latest: Could Arsenal re-launch their attempts to sign the Real Madrid midfielder?
Reports claim that Khedira has lowered his wage demands to £135,000-a-week, but Arsenal are likely to want that figure reduced further if terms are to be agreed
Arsenal’s pursuit of Sami Khedira appears to have gone quiet in recent weeks, with a move for the World Cup winner appearing to be dead in the water. Yet could the Gunners re-launch their attempts to sign the Real Madrid midfielder?
The move appeared to collapse over Khedira’s excessive wage demands, thought to be in excess of £150,000-a-week. With the salary out of Arsenal’s wage budget – both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil are currently on £130,000-a-week – the Arsenal hierarchy were unwilling to meet his demands.
However, the Mirror is reporting that Khedira has lowered his demands to around £135,000-a-week, and while that would still prove to be a hard figure for the Gunners to meet, it shows signs that a deal could yet be negotiated. Arsenal would also have the means to meet the transfer fee given that the 27-year-old only has a year remaining on his contract, meaning he would cost in the region of £20m.
Arsenal have already spent over £60m on the completed signings of Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and David Ospina, but there is no hiding that Arsenal desperately need a defensive midfielder to really suggest they can compete for the Premier League title this season.
Khedira may have starred in Germany’s successful World Cup campaign this summer, but he is no longer first choice at Real as manager Carlo Ancelotti has shown a preference to start Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric in central midfield due to Khedira’s run of injuries and average form.
With the additions of Toni Kroos and World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, the likelihood is Khedira will see even less football at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, and with Isco and Asier Illarimedi also on the books of the Champions League holders, the prospect of regular playing time appears slim at best.
The bookmakers still believe that Khedira will end up at the Emirates come the end of the summer, and the latest reports in Spain suggest that both Khedira and Angel Di Maria will leave Real this summer following their £80m-plus spending spree on Rodriguez and Kroos.
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While progress may seem slow on the move, Khedira is not due back from holiday until midway through August, and Wenger’s recent liking to dip into the transfer market at the last minute could see the deal go through in the closing days of August.
One deciding factor could be that Arsenal are not yet guaranteed Champions League football, as they will need to come through a play-off at the end of next month in order to reach the group stages for the 18th straight season under Wenger. Should they come through the tie, Khedira could be much more attracted to life at the Emirates.
Chelsea offered the biggest threat to Arsenal in the race for Khedira, but Jose Mourinho's admission that the Blues are done spending appears to have ruled them out of the running for the Germany international. Of course, you can never say never, especially when the crafty Mourinho is involved, but the Blues are already struggling to meet their domestic players quota and an additional foreign player would not help that in the slightest.
On the face of things, the path is clear for Wenger to make a move. Only time will tell if the Frenchman decides to move for a transfer that would turn Arsenal into genuine title contenders from the start of the season.
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