Sami Khedira has dealt what could be a lasting blow to fans of Manchester United and Arsenal, by confirming that he has not held any talks with either club.
The future of the German international has been a subject of widespread speculation for some time now, with his position at Real Madrid having come under significant threat following the capture of compatriot Toni Kroos in the summer.
It was reported earlier this year that he wanted £200,000-a-week to make a Premier League move, but fans would have been forgiven for expecting that figure to drop due to his changing status.
Khedira wants stay
Though he’s not short of suitors it remains to be seen whether or not Carlo Ancelotti will allow him to leave the Santiago Bernabeu. If nothing else his most recent comments, made to German magazine Kicker and relayed by Goal, appear to minimise the chance of that happening.
"There have not been talks with any other teams," he said.
"There have not been talks with any other teams"
"I have never even considered leaving. And that has not changed as of yet.
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"Real Madrid are a great team. There is not really a reason for me to say that I want to leave or have to leave."
Despite the fact that he is tipped to struggle to get consistent game-time with Los Blancos it’s pretty clear that Khedira has no immediate plans to leave, which could throw a spanner into the visions of not just Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger, but also Jose Mourinho.
Spanner in the works
Chelsea have been frequently linked with the holding midfielder as The Special One seeks to perfect his team, and it’s said the Blues want him to partner Nemanja Matic in front of their back four.
With Mourinho’s charges flying high at the summit of the Premier League however the fact that he can’t land Khedira will be little more than a fly in the ointment, whilst it could have far greater repercussions for his rivals.
United are crying out for a player who can act as a world-class anchorman in the middle of the park, and though Daley Blind looks to have been an inspired purchase he can’t promise to live up to that specification quite yet. Meanwhile Arsenal have a similar predicament, with their back line having been particularly suspect in recent weeks.
Ageing figures such as Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are often deployed to boost the creative flair of their teammates by breaking up play, but at the moment few Gunners fans would protest at a renowned ball-winner being introduced, whatever the cost.
As it stands Khedira’s current deal at Madrid expires next summer, meaning that Los Blancos risk losing him for nothing if they can’t agree a new contract in the near future. Premier League clubs will be hoping that’s the case, but the player himself doesn’t seem half as keen.