Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies believe Sami Khedira would prefer a move to the Bundesliga this summer despite interest from the Premier League.
The Germany international looks set to depart Real Madrid at the end of the season. Khedira's contract will expire in June and he will be free to leave for nothing. As his contract is in its last six months, he is able to discuss pre-contracts with foreign clubs.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with a move for the player in recent weeks and it looked as if Chelsea would be the destination of choice for the 27-year-old. However, Tonnies believes Khedira would not hesitate to return to his home country and believes his Schalke team have a good chance.
"I get the impression that Khedira wants to return to the Bundesliga," he told Bild. "I think he doesn't doubt it for a second. I believe that there aren't too many clubs in Germany coming into question.
"He would easily fit in here. He is a leader, a fighter. But it's also a fact that we won't go crazy about it."
Missing out on Khedira will be a big blow for Jose Mourinho, who seemed interested in signing his former player last summer. While Nemanja Matic has been a force in Chelsea's midfield, there is significant doubt over the future of Jon Obi Mikel and Khedira may have been cited as the perfect replacement.
Arsenal looked set to sign Khedira last summer, but negotiations hit an impasse when he demanded an incredible £200,000-a-week wage packet to hook up with the Gunners. Arsene Wenger pulled the plug and seems to have now lost interest.
Francis Coquelin has fulfilled Arsenal's needs for a forceful midfielder while a summer move for Morgan Schneiderlin now looks likely.
Having suffered a serious knee injury last season, Arsenal were right to err on the side of caution. Khedira still has not found his best form since recovering from the injury, forcing Carlo Ancelotti to move for Lucas Silva in the January transfer window.
Chelsea may be able to offer him more of a first-team role than he is currently getting at Real Madrid, but Mourinho would use him sparingly. However, Schalke would certainly make Khedira a marquee signing for their summer and perhaps that is what the player is looking for.
Should Chelsea and Arsenal be putting up more of a fight or just forget about signing Khedira? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!
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