Manchester United have taken a big step towards winning the race for Sami Khedira after Louis van Gaal commissioned a huge contract offer in January, reports the Daily Star.
The Real Madrid midfielder looks set to become one of the most sought-after talents in the world when his contract enters its final six months in January. While Khedira is still considered a world-class talent, it appears his time at the Bernabeu is coming to an end.
Carlo Ancelotti has already ostracised him from the first team and a host of clubs, including Arsenal and Chelsea, are reportedly preparing pre-contract offers for the turn of the year. However, Manchester United appear best place to sign the 27-year-old.
That is because Van Gaal has given Old Trafford officials the green light to offer Khedira a huge contract. While no figure has been mentioned in this particular report, previously the German was reported to be demanding a staggering £200,000-a-week.
While that figure may well be out of reach for Arsenal and Chelsea, who both have to keep a tight reign on wages to stay in line with Financial Fair Play, Manchester United should have no problem.
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Just the fact that Van Gaal is willing to pay Khedira the wages he wants is enough to put the Red Devils within touching distance of sealing his signature. They will, however, have to wait until the summer to link up with the World Cup winner.
That is assuming that Manchester United fail to agree a fee with Real Madrid. President Florentino Perez may feel it necessary to offload Khedira in January, claiming at least a small fee instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the season.
If they do want to sell, it may well put Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger back in the race. Arsenal will no doubt want to revitalise their interest after failing to agree a deal for Khedira in the summer.
Reports claimed that a deal was struck with Real Madrid, but that Arsenal could not bring Khedira down on his excessive wage demands. Since then, however, Gunners Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil have been in frequent contact with Khedira in an attempt to sway him towards the Emirates.