Manchester United have Arsenal to thank for their failure to sign Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira in a €40million deal in the summer, reports El Economista.
According to Sport Witness, the Spanish daily newspaper claims that the Premier League champions were thwarted in their attempt to bring the Germany international to England, only because the north London club had already agreed a deal for Mesut Ozil.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger successfully negotiated the club-record transfer of Ozil to the Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day, and in doing so prevented Manchester United from adding Khedira to their Old Trafford ranks.
In the end, David Moyes had to raid former club Everton for the services of Marouane Fellaini, and paid a hefty £27.5million fee to ensure that the Red Devils had something to show from their failed summer recruitment drive.
Real Madrid were reluctant to sell two creative midfield players, and after Ozil agreed personal terms with Arsenal, that ended any possibility of Khedira being allowed to follow him out of the Santiago Bernabeu.
"If the case had been the opposite, ie that the first offer had been [Manchester] United's for Khedira and the second that of Arsenal for Ozil, Sami today would be at Old Trafford and Mesut at the Bernabeu," a source is reported to have told El Economista.
Manchester United were also rumoured to have been interested in Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara - who joined Bayern Munich to be reunited with former manager Pep Guardiola - as well as Athletic Bilbao's up-and-coming star Ander Herrera.
Moyes is expected to go back into the market for a creative midfield addition when the transfer window reopens in January, and will be hoping that Arsenal are not planning to ruin his strategy again.
Thanks again to Sport Witness for providing the translation for this story!