Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would still love to persuade Sami Khedira to leave Real Madrid for North London, but now has a back-up plan in place should the midfield maestro decide to either stay in the Spanish capital or sign for Chelsea or Manchester United on a free transfer next summer.
Wenger has chased Khedira for the best part of 12 months, hoping to take advantage of a breakdown in talks between the German international and Madrid over a new contract.
Khedira has decided to stay put and keep his options thus far though, which means the Gunners boss is ready to change tact and chase a £20 million deal for his World Cup winning team-mate Christoph Kramer.
Is Kramer the answer for Arsene in midfield?
The 23-year-old has emerged as a serious transfer target for Arsenal after a breakthrough year for club and country, which included a shock start in the World Cup final last summer.
Kramer will infamously remember very little of that proud moment after suffering a concussion and being substituted in the first half of Germany's epic victory over Argentine, but his national coach Joachim Low and Arsene Wenger clearly have similar taste.
Article continues below
£20 million bid imminent?
Wenger is so keen on Kramer that he's willing to consider a formal offer when the player becomes available in the summer, with the Daily Star reporting that he's now pondering a formal offer to the tune of £20m.
The versatile midfield anchor is currently on a two-year long loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach, with Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen quite surprisingly sending the emerging talent to a direct rival for Champions League qualification.
Arsenal are among a string of clubs hoping to persuade Kramer that his long-term future lies elsewhere, including Serie A heavyweights Napoli.
A quite bizarre 50-yard own goal aside Kramer has been a big hit at Gladbach, which complicates Arsenal's transfer plans somewhat, but there's still every chance that the Gunners could add to their growing contingent of German talent next summer even if Khedira has other ideas.