Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Sami Khedira, who has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in recent weeks, won't be on the move this summer.
However that has opened up the possibility that he could walk away for free next summer when his contract expires.
The £25 million-rated World Cup winner looked destined to leave the Bernabeu having turned down the offer of a contract extension. It appeared as though he was angling for a move, with England his most likely destination.
That had opened up the door for the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal to pounce, but his sizeable wage packet was reportedly a major obstacle in the way of any transfer.
Now Ancelotti has confirmed that Khedira will stay put for the time being. He told reporters: "The Khedira issue is solved. He will stay, he wants to stay and we want him to stay"
Winger Angel di Maria is on his way to Manchester United for a reported fee of £60 million, which may have played a part in Khedira's decision to stay put.
"The midfield is well covered a even if Di Maria is leaving because we can use Isco, James, Khedira, Kroos, Illarra & Alonso," he explained.
Chelsea and Arsenal will have to look elsewhere before the close of the summer window if they want to add midfield reinforcements.
Arsenal in particular look short in that area following the injury to Mikel Arteta, and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is believed to be looking at William Carvalho - who has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United in the past - as a potential alternative.
Chelsea need to sell a foreign player in order to meet Premier League rules, and that could be John Obi-Mikel. Youngster Marco van Ginkel could go out on loan which would open a spot in midfield, and Carvalho could well be the man for the job if Khedira is unavailable.
The German only has a year left on his current contract and given that he has turned down the offer of a new deal this summer, could be on his way out of the club for free next year. That would certainly make it more likely that any of his suitors will cough up the big wages he demands.
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