Arsenal fans desperate for fresh news on a long-rumoured pursuit of Word Cup winner Sami Khedira have been handed a fresh boost by Spanish journalist Guillem Balague this afternoon, who claims that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is reluctant to sign his former talisman because he thinks there's already an agreement over terms in place with the Gunners.
Real Madrid are desperate to offload Khedira before the transfer window slams shut rather than risk losing him for free next summer, but have so far failed to persuade any of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United or Bayern Munich to meet their original £25m valuation.
Balague believes Madrid will do business and used his Twitter account to share why Mourinho has stalled on adding a player he knows and trusts to his title charge, primarily because he thinks Arsenal have beaten him to it.
Khedira determined to force exit
Madrid's hand has effectively been forced by Khedira's stubborn refusal to talk terms over a new contract. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract the Bernabeu and would be free to talk terms over a Bosman move from January onwards, a potentially incredible bargain that Mourinho was ready to chase.
Chelsea are close to fully stocked though and if Balague is to believed Mourinho won't be wasting his time in pursuing the deal any further, but that doesn't mean Arsenal have a free run to finally land their fifth major summer signing.
Bayern lurk in the background
The goalposts have moved since Khedira reminded Europe's top clubs what he's capable of in a stunning World Cup semi-final display against Brazil last month, primarily thanks to a growing injury crisis at Bayern Munich.
Pep Guardiola lost versatile midfielder Javi Martinez to a long-term knee problem last week and already has Thiago Alcantara and Bastian Schweinsteiger out of action ahead of their Bundesliga opener against Wolfsburg this week, a lengthy list of sidelined stars which will surely force Bayern into the transfer market.
Arsenal are facing a race against time to sign a proven holding midfielder without Bayern's new interest in Khedira, but Balague still sees North London as Khedira's most likely destination following a transfer saga that will finally be over one way or the other in 11 days from now.