The Manchester Evening News today reports that Manchester United are plotting a surprise bid for Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.
It is believed Louis van Gaal was willing to wait until January and for Kevin Strootman (Roma) to become available, but with the news Khedira is now available has created an opportunity United didn’t previously think was possible. Injury to Michael Carrick has created a sense of urgency around securing midfield targets this window as the England midfielder is ruled out until October with an ankle injury. It is believed that before this injury van Gaal was willing to wait for Strootman to be fit, but a failure to sign targets such as Toni Kroos, Arturo Vidal and Cesc Fabregas have forced the Dutchman’s hand.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Thursday that World Cup winner Khedira has rejected the opportunity to negotiate a new contract at the Spanish side, and Madrid are willing to listen to offers. Khedira hasn’t handed in a transfer request (unlike team-mate Angel Di Maria), but rejecting a contract is a statement of intent as first team opportunities seem to be thinning as time goes by. And this could play right into United’s hands, as first team minutes are virtually guaranteed should he be able to stay fit.
With Darren Fletcher seemingly not up to the task of a full season after his illness, Carrick injured until October, Ander Herrera aclimatising to life in England and other options at the club as thin as those outside, Khedira is cheap and available and should be pursued. The experience he will bring could prove vital, his last four months have been the stuff of dreams with World Cup and Champions League winners medals added to his four other titles (a Bundesliga, La Liga, UEFA Super Cup and Copa Del Rey), Khedira brings a wealth of title-winning experience. For £12 million we would be stupid to pass up on him.
Other clubs are obviously sniffing around him, so any deal would need to be brokered as soon as possible. With that comes a certain amount of anxiety, as this summer is littered with dragged out transfer sagas and failed attempts because of the amount of time taken in negotiations (Thomas Vermaelen being the poster boy for this). There isn’t a lot of time left, and it’ll only grow smaller. The necessity however, will only grow bigger. A wait until January was a risk in the first place, but lose out on an opportunity like this and that risk could turn into complete stupidity and harm any chances of a challenge to the top four or beyond.
A lot of faith and blind hope is now required as the transfer window draws to a close. One would hope Woodward, van Gaal et al will now work to get Khedira at any cost, if they don’t there will be bleak times ahead.