All the doubt surrounding Sami Khedira’s Real Madrid future has seemingly been finally put to rest. The German international will reportedly be joining Italian champions Juventus on a free transfer in the summer.
Ever since the beginning of the season, both Khedira’s injuries and contract situation as well as Madrid’s transfer activity, cast huge doubt over whether he would be playing at the Bernabéu next season.
Arsenal, in their eternal quest to find a holding midfielder, were considered the favourites to snap him up, but with wages being a stumbling block it seems any interest the North London side had in signing Khedira was based on nothing more than rumour.
BYE BYE BERNABÉU
Khedira himself revealed last week that his time at Madrid would be over come the end of his contract. A heartfelt Instagram post solved this part of the puzzle, but until now there had been no more information on where he would be playing his football next year.
The rumour mills had churned out many stories regarding potential suitors, however the German’s potential new club, Juventus, were rarely mentioned.
The Guardian, among many other papers, have reported the deal meaning what had been one of the most anticipated transfer battles of this summer has come to an all too premature end. The paper reports Khedira will have a medical in Turin this week, and bar any last minute drama - quite possible given the World Cup winner’s lengthy spell on the sidelines - Khedira will be sporting a few extra black stripes than he's used to come next season.
Although Khedira’s future was set to be one of the more exciting transfer stories to follow this summer, especially given the year long hype surrounding his future, his imminent move to Juventus could well make this summer more interesting than it was initially set to be.
His new teammate Paul Pogba has had his name linked to every club under the sun too, despite being more because of his ability rather than any legitimate possibility of him leaving. However, with Khedira moving one way, the midfield merry-go-round could well have been set in motion.
Real Madrid struggled in midfield against Juventus, Sergio Ramos proving he is unlikely to be a long term solution to the problem, let alone a short one. So, by letting one of their most talented players in this area go, it would be highly peculiar should they not add to the squad this summer.
Pogba is definitely on Madrid’s radar and any move they were looking to make for the sought-after Frenchman now looks much more likely given their dwindling midfield numbers.
Another Juventus midfielder has also been a prominent feature of transfer gossip columns around the world, and with reported interest from Arsenal as well as age old suitor Manchester United, both Premier League clubs may have a better chance of signing the player now than if Khedira were to have stayed with Madrid.
Could Arturo Vidal be next transfer domino to fall?
Manchester United have been linked with the Chilean midfielder even since Louis Van Gaal took charge and despite a lack of movement on this front, in both the summer and the January transfer window, should they genuinely be interested in the player, it may be a case of now or never for Van Gaal to make his move.
Arsenal have reportedly joined the race for Vidal’s signature and given compatriot Alexis Sanchez’s stellar debut season in North London, Arsene Wenger may well have the upper hand should it come down to a matter of persuasion.
Despite Juventus claiming they want to keep hold of both Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, although they have no costs to think about regarding the Khedira deal, the players' individual desire to be undisputed starters for the Old Lady could well mean one, or even both of the aforementioned stars could yet be moving on. Should this be the case expect Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal all to be lying in wait.
Obviously, all of this is mere speculation, and as we have seen with Khedira himself, speculation often falls short of the reality. One thing that we can take from this move however is that whether inciting a frenzy of transfer activity or something less dramatic, Khedira’s move to Juventus will definitely have consequences of its own.
Juventus’ midfield is perhaps their strongest and most abundant part of their squad. We all know competition for places is necessary when trying to build a squad to challenge for the highest honours, and should they manage to keep all three of the midfielders mentioned in this article, then they would have achieved exactly that.
Yet in the modern day climate, when faced with an offer of guaranteed first team football (and a nice pay rise to accompany it) many players are unwilling to help build a squad, preferring to further their own careers instead. It's an unfortunate byproduct of the modern game that could well see Juventus losing some of their most prized possessions.
Khedira’s arrival in Turin could snowball more transfer activity, it might not. Nevertheless, it will be worth keeping an eye on both Pogba and Vidal this summer. If anything were to come of Khedira’s move, they are likely to be the affected parties.