Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has agreed to move back to the Bundesliga rather than switch to the Premier League, according to reports.
Leading Spanish mouthpiece Marca - who so often offer transfer gossip concerning Real - say that the German World Cup winner has opted not to join Arsenal and has instead elected Schalke 04. The Gunners have retained an interest in Khedira for sometime given their need for a defensive-midfielder who promises mettle, but it now looks as though they’ll have to change tact.
According to Marca, Khedira is more interested in a return to his homeland than seeking to conquer pastures new. He left Germany for Spain back in 2010 and has enjoyed relative success with Los Blancos, but the arrival of compatriot Toni Kroos last summer has pushed him out onto the periphery.
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It’s good news for Schalke, who managed to beat Real on their own turf in the Champions League earlier this week, but bad news for Arsene Wenger, who quite possibly would have viewed Khedira as an ideal man he could have snapped up for free.
With his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu due to expire at the culmination of this season, and no talks in place currently for an extension, a departure seems more a formality than a possibility, even though there’s few in Europe who can boast his ability and experience.
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One player who may be able to argue a case, and one Wenger will almost certainly turn to come the summer transfer window, is Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin. Three years Khedira’s junior, at just 24 he’s garnered a reputation for being one of the most capable midfielders in the Premier League, and as he expressed a desire to leave last summer, only for his intentions to be dismissed by the Saints board, he could well be targeted again.
As has already been speculated in recent weeks Arsenal’s midfield looks set for a shake-up. The young Francis Coquelin is all but certain to stay after returning from a loan spell as Charlton to impress greatly, though the futures of Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini don’t make for such positive reading.
Reports just last week suggested that Wenger would be offloading Diaby due to his various injuries come the summer, whilst Flamini’s immediate future may well depend upon the outcome of Mikel Arteta’s career decisions. The Spaniard doesn’t want to be sitting on the bench next term, and so could leave, although Wenger wants him to stay and therefore may get rid of Flamini to accomodate.
Arsenal fans, how good do you think Sami Khedira might have been at the Emirates Stadium? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...