The potential winter window availability of unsung defensive-minded midfield hero Sami Khedira, 26, is reportedly interesting Manchester United manager David Moyes and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who coached Khedira and was even the one to sign the German international whilst he was a Real Madrid employee.
All is not well for a number of players at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. In-demand but out-of-form forward Karim Benzema, 25, has been chastised for his perceived limited work-rate and has been the subject of catcalling from the Los Blancos fans.
Khedira, meanwhile, has openly spoken out over how the club miss the presence of defence-splitting passer Mesut Ozil, and believes he is being scapegoated as a result of his opinions and also his loyalty toward Mourinho.
Khedira recently told Kicker: 'I feel insulted by the Spanish press, I will never be one of their favourite sons. I began the season on the bench and once again I've been made a scapegoat. They don't value me, even when I play well. I'm not Spanish [and] I didn't cost a lot.'
The midfielder, a league winner in both Germany and Spain, is a rare breed. He is not combative in midfield, like, say, Yaya Toure and he also lacks the Ivorian's attacking nous. Khedira's skill-set, though, is more subtle than tough-tackling, or harassing the opponents with a terrier-like work-rate. He tracks back, plays simple passes and has good positional sense and awareness.
He is also valued at in excess of £34m, a price United attempted to lure him for at the tail-end of the summer market.
But, if El Economista are correct in their speculation, that Real are willing to sell in January with both United and Chelsea interested, then a transfer tug-of-war could develop between two of the biggest clubs in England.
United have already entered the bidding process once, so Khedira will be aware of Moyes' interest and faith in him, but should Real accept an offer from Chelsea, then Sami may well relish an opportunity to reunite with the manager who understood him far better than Carlo Ancelotti currently does.
Just last year, Mourinho lambasted the Spanish press and lauded Khedira as the world's best in his position.
In Kicker, it was perhaps telling that Khedira said: 'I'm a disciple of Mourinho.'
Where do you think Khedira will end up in January? Chelsea or United? Does Moyes even need him as much as a playmaker? Let us know in the comment section below…
image: © Jan S0L0