Sami Khedira’s performance in the 7-1 drubbing of Brazil has sent a reminder to Europe’s biggest clubs of what the German can offer, amid interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.
Reports had linked the German holding midfielder with a move to the Gunners, who are believed to willing to spend up to £28m on the 27-year-old despite their imminent moves for Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy.
But after his starring role in the demolition job of Brazil, Chelsea are being linked with a move for Khedira, having already strengthened their midfield with the £30m signing of former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
The Blues also dished out £32m to trigger the release clause in Diego Costa’s Atletico Madrid contract, and should either side make a move for Khedira they would be showing serious intent in challenging Manchester City for their Premier League crown.
There is a general feeling that Real will be willing to let Khedira leave the Santiago Bernabeu, with Carlo Ancelotti expected to replace him with his German team-mate Toni Kroos after reports last night linked the Manchester United target with a £30m move to Madrid.
Khedira joined the Spanish club from Stuttgart in 2010 after a successful World Cup in South Africa, moving for an undisclosed fee thought to be around the 14m euros mark. He has gone on to make 144 appearances for Real – the last of which came in the Champions League final victory in May – but he could well have played his final game for Los Blancos should a summer move materialise.
While his main strength certainly isn’t scoring goals – his tally of nine in four years in Spain represents a poor return – he is the type of midfielder that Arsenal have been crying out for for some time. In their notable ‘big’ matches against their top four rivals last season, the Gunners lost heavily to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, and a holding midfielder of real quality is certainly needed to marshal the back four and keep things tight when they find themselves under pressure.
The one concern over Khedira remains his fitness, as a string of injuries combined with poor from saw him make just 13 appearances in La Liga last season. In fact, he has only managed a best of 28 league appearances during his four-year spell with the club, and has only managed to play 40 or more games in a season in three of his 11 years as a professional.
With Kroos, Paul Pogba and James Rodriguez all linked with a move to the Champions League holders, the future doesn’t look rosy for Khedira in Madrid, even though the belief is he would like to stay with the club.
Ancelotti selected Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric as his two main midfielders in the second half of last season, and introduced Angel Di Maria in a more central role in the absence of Khedira which clearly turned around Real’s performances and injected the midfield with pace that Khedira can’t offer.
While Di Maria has also been linked with an exit, it is unlikely that Khedira would remain with Real should any one of the three transfer targets mentioned arrive this summer, and the Premier League could suit Khedira when it comes to finding pastures new.
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