Chelsea are preparing to match any bid Manchester United may make for Real Madrid star Sami Khedira, reports The Daily Express.
Reports emerged on Thursday morning suggesting that Manchester United were preparing to launch a £10 million bid to secure Khedira in January. The German is out of contract next summer and Louis van Gaal is hoping to tempt Florentino Perez into a sale.
Khedira is believed to be commanding a wage of around £200,000-a-week. That figure was enough to put Arsenal off a transfer in the summer.
However, Jose Mourinho remains interested in Khedira and is ready to match any bid emanating from Old Trafford. The Chelsea manager still holds an affinity to the 27-year-old having mentored him during his three-year stint as Real Madrid manager.
Khedira himself is also thought to be keen to work under Mourinho again and reports in the summer suggested he was ready to move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer at the end of the season. However, Manchester United's planned bid has thrown a spanner in the works.
Stamford Bridge speculation
Speculation is beginning to mount over the futures of Ramires and Jon Obi Mikel and Mourinho wants to make sure he is well covered in defensive midfield. The Blues are looking to challenge on all front this season and need a complete squad to do so.
Nemanja Matic is a staple in the team at the moment, but his partner, Ramires, has himself been linked with a switch to Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti was reportedly ready to make an offer and Chelsea were ready to sell for £25 million.
Surprisingly, the same report insists that Van Gaal is unconcerned by competition from Stamford Bridge and believes the offer of first team football plus a lucrative contract will be enough to convince Khedira.
That confidence may be dependent on Manchester United proving they are capable of finishing in the top four before January. And any move may be dependent on Khedira lowering his demands.
Should Khedira budge on his £200,000-a-week demand, Arsene Wenger may renew his interest in the German. Arsenal are in desperate need of physicality in midfield. So much so that Wenger is attempting to reform the injury-prone Abou Diaby as a defensive midfielder.
Should that fail, which, most likely, it will, the January transfer window will come as quite a reprieve for the Gunners boss, who will undoubtedly dip into his transfer funds to strengthen Arsenal's fragile squad.