Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has finally confirmed he'll quit the Spanish giants this summer, because he's desperate for a fresh challenge after five years in La Liga.
Khedira has snubbed attempts from Madrid chiefs to talk terms over a contract extension, instead choosing to let his current deal run down to leave the Spanish capital on his own terms after a whirlwind 12 months which has featured both Champions League and World Cup success.
The 27-year-old has been free to talk terms with interested clubs since January and continues to be linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, but is adamant his long-term future remains very much undecided.
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Khedira's agent set to be a very busy man
After starting in last night's 2-2 draw between Germany and Australia the World Cup winner was asked about his future by Kicker, which meant Madrid fans finally had their worst fears over Khedira's exit realised.
In quotes carried by Goal.com the Bernabeu star conceded: “It’s not a decision against Real Madrid. I want to find new challenges for my career and continue to grow as a player.
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Premier League or Bundesliga for Khedira?
“I don’t have an agreement with any club nor any preferences as to who I would like to join."
For the best part of 12 months its been Arsenal continually linked with a cut-price move for Khedira, but you have to think that ship might have sailed. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger did consider a move after last summer's World Cup, but high wage demands and a patchy recent injury record saw the much-rumoured deal eventually scrapped.
Chelsea and a reunion with former Madrid boss Jose Mourinho also remains a possibility, particularly given a lack of quality cover for key midfield duo Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas at times during the second half of the season.
What looks more likely at this stage though is a return to the Bundesliga, with Bayern and Schalke both monitoring developments closely.
Schalke are a relatively new name on the Khedira hitlist and could provide the versatile midfielder with both a star role and Champions League football, making a proven world-class operator a bigger fish in a slightly smaller pond.
That may well appeal to Khedira at this stage of his career, but its clear from his most recent comments that the fight for his signature is still very much alive.
Real Madrid fans, will be sorry to see Khedira go? Where will the midfielder end up playing next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
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