Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has reportedly ended doubts over his long-term future by signing a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich, after being assured by the Bundesliga giants that he'll get a star role at the Allianz Arena next year.
Khedira has been linked with a whole host of Europe's top clubs almost non-stop over the last few months, primarily because he's stubbornly refused to entertain talks with Madrid over extending his current deal, one which expires at the end of the season.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have all shown a strong interest in signing the World Cup winner, but the Gunners in particular will now be ruing their failure to get Khedira signed up when the had the chance last summer.
Guardiola made Khedira deal a priority
Spanish newspaper Marca report that Khedira has been offered a substantial salary to join Bayern next season, with the news broken first by radio programme El Larguero on Wednesday night.
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola sanctioned a move that was already in the works long before Madrid lost Luka Modric to injury for around four months, with Khedira's mind already made up to leave despite the promise of more first-team opportunities.
Wage rise helped seal the deal
The 27-year-old will get a rise on his current £120,000-a-week pay packet from Madrid as part of the lucrative move, a lofty sum that Arsenal in particular were clearly unwilling to offer.
Arsenal fans were desperate for Khedira to bring some strength, quality and experience to their midfield this season, a view shared by the German continent at the Emirates.
Gunners vice-captain Per Mertesacker admitted earlier this week that he'd spoken to Khedira about the possibility of joining him in North London, but it looks like Arsenal have missed the boat again in their efforts to sign a top transfer target.
Could it all be posturing for better terms at Madrid?
There of course the possibility that reports concerning Khedira and Bayern have been leaked to help force Madrid to improve the terms of a new deal they've wanted the midfield maestro to sign for more than six months, particularly after losing Modric for a significant part of the season.
Bayern boss Guardiola will likely have the final say. If he truly wants Khedira at the Allianz Arena then it's likely the agreement on a stunning Bosman transfer is already signed and sealed, despite Carlo Ancelotti offering a proven world-class performer assurances he remains part of his plans at the Bernabeu.