But the Premier League champions bid too late on deadline day, and Madrid had already agreed to sell Ozil to Arsenal. As a result, Carlo Ancelotti was forced to reject United’s £35m offer for Khedira because the club couldn’t afford to lose two first-team midfielders so late in the window.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola carries reports from Spain that claim that the ‘timing’ of Manchester United’s approach for Khedira meant that they couldn’t sanction the sale.
Injuries to Xabi Alonso and new signing Asier Illarramendi also meant that Khedira assumed greater importance to Ancelotti in the final few days and weeks of the window.
But had United registered their interest in Khedira earlier than the final day of the transfer window, the report claims Madrid would have been willing to negotiate. Had this been the case, Ozil would likely still be a Real Madrid player.
Instead, Madrid were forced to sell the German playmaker to Arsenal to recoup some of the money spent on Gareth Bale’s world record breaking £85m move from Tottenham.
If accurate, the report would further infuriate Manchester United fans who felt the club left it too late on deadline day to sign a world-class midfielder.