Arsenal remain in the market for a holding midfielder of some repute, although the club could reportedly extinguish interest in Sami Khedira given concerns they have over the Real Madrid player’s injury record.
Work to be done
Arsenal have already spent significantly in the transfer market this summer, with Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers arriving at a combined cost of over £60 million, but there is still work to be done before the close of the window.
A combative midfield player able to dominate the middle of the park, particularly in games against Arsenal’s closest rivals, is something Arsene Wenger still requires, but it may be the plug is pulled on any proposed deal for Khedira.
The Germany international is the midfielder to have been most frequently linked with the Gunners, although Matt Law in The Telegraph claims that the north London side are unsure if Khedira’s acquisition would represent good business given his history of injury.
Should Arsenal pursue a deal for Khedira it would cost them a total of £50 million over the duration of a proposed four year contract, with a £24 million transfer fee and significant wages of £150,000-per-week.
However, Khedira has missed almost 70 games through various injuries during his time with Real Madrid, including being absent for a significant portion of last season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
The 27-year-old was able to return to take part in Germany’s World Cup campaign, a significant boost, but was omitted from the final at the last moment after straining his calf in the pre-match warm-up.
Arsenal will consult recent backroom staff addition Shad Forsythe before making a final decision on Khedira, with the esteemed fitness expert having worked extensively with Germany over the past decade, meaning he has a detailed knowledge of the midfielder’s strengths and weaknesses.
The Gunners will have to wait on Khedira given that he has yet to return to full training with Real Madrid after his post-World Cup holiday, and it may take some time for Wenger and his staff to fully assess the player’s long-term fitness.
Wenger himself has three German players to welcome back after their success in Brazil, Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, and has already stated that the trio will miss the opening game of the season at least.
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Time to move on from Khedira?
Does it then make sense to pursue Khedira at a significant cost when he may not be ready to plan for some weeks? Possibly not. That would be why Arsenal are now seemingly ready to focus their attention on William Carvalho.
The Portugal international would come at a similar cost in terms of transfer fee, but his wages would be significantly lower - with Carvalho reported to be on just £8,000-per-week at Sporting.
Carvalho also represents a young option, five years the junior of Khedira, although of course has much less experience of playing in one of Europe’s top divisions than his illustrious rival for the Arsenal midfield.