Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is ready to spend big to bring Germany international midfielder Sami Khedira to the club.
Bild claims the Red Devils will offer €37.5million to bring the player to the Premier League - beating one of their domestic rivals in the process.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is also a keen admirer of the 27-year-old, and utilised the defensive-minded player whilst in charge of Real Madrid. Presumably, he would have looked to do the same thing in west London.
However, ’the special one’ now appears to be behind in the race for the player, as Manchester United look to flex their financial muscle in an effort to become a force once again. After winning the title in 2012/13, they failed to qualify for Europe last term following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
David Moyes struggled to make an impact in his first transfer window at Old Trafford, and whilst he signed Juan Mata for big-money in January, he paid the price for poor results on the pitch. Club legend Ryan Giggs took the reigns on a temporary basis, and now Van Gaal is at the helm despite his World Cup commitments with Netherlands.
Despite his involvement in Brazil, the Dutchman appears to be doing the business in the market, with Ander Herrera close to completing a move to Manchester United. Ironically, the Spanish playmaker was originally a target of Moyes during his spell with the club.
€240m war chest
Van Gaal isn’t going to stop there though, with the German publication claiming he has €240million (around £200million) to spend in the market. Midfield seems to be the area that the new boss has identified as a weakness that needs strengthening.
Khedira could certainly do that, having built his reputation at Stuttgart before moving to La Liga in 2010. Despite not being the most glamorous player at the Santiago Bernabeu, he’s racked up over 100 appearances in all competitions over the last four seasons - even with a knee injury towards the end of last season.
He remains a key part of the Germany national team, and started in the win over Portugal and draw against Ghana in Group G despite the recent ACL problem.
It’s easy to see why Chelsea are interested, given his ability to play as part of a two-man defensive midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation at Stamford Bridge. With Frank Lampard and David Luiz both gone, the Blues have fewer options in the position next term.
Blues fans rarely doubt Mourinho when it comes to key decisions in the transfer market, although it’s generally been more attacking players on the club’s transfer radar. A new striker is a priority on the King’s Road.
But, if they decide they need a holding-midfielder, then there are few better in the business than Khedira. His style is a little unorthodox compared to others in the position, and he would be capable of joining the fast-paced Chelsea attack if needed.
That’s the kind of thing Manchester United would be looking for him to do if they managed to bring him to Old Trafford this summer, and his arrival would be a significant boost. The former champions were found wanting last term with the likes of Tom Cleverley exposed against top opposition.
It’s unlikely that would happen with Khedira in the side, and the Red Devils would be wise to make a deal happen as soon as possible.