Arsenal are widely linked with a £20 million offer for Real Madrid midfielder and World Cup winner Sami Khedira, but rumours remain Chelsea want to hijack the deal.
The Germany international was given extra food for thought over the proposed move in Berlin on Tuesday when Arsenal forward and Germany teammate Lukas Podolski shouted “Arsenal, Arsenal!" when he was asked about his future.
In front of a crowd of thousands at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Khedira was asked in Germany by an interviewer at the World Cup Parade which club he would be playing for next season and whilst the German gave his diplomatic response, Podolski shouted in the background the name of Arsenal.
Khedira has been pictured during the World Cup in Brazil and since the Germans’ win at the tournament alongside his national teammates, including Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, and Podolski but the status of the potential deal between European champions Real Madrid and Arsenal remain unknown, other than the fact the London club is interested in signing the 27-year-old holding midfielder.
Reports have since suggested the Spanish giants may be intent on ‘drawing out’ the deal, implying that Khedira’s status as a World Cup winner may have increased his value to his clubs. Meanwhile, the player’s wage demands are reportedly enough to make him the highest-paid player on Arsenal’s books, should he join, which could be yet another stumbling block in any potential agreement.
None of these concerns seem to be troubling Lukas Podolski who clearly would like nothing more than to have his friend and colleague Sami Khedira join him at the Emirates next season. However, the Gunners' plans could be scuppered by recent reports that Jose Mourinho, Khedira's former coach in Madrid, is intent on convincing him to join the Blues this summer.
The Portuguese coach already has a strong relationship and rapport built with the Real Madrid star and that could swing the deal in Chelsea's favour.
Where Khedira would sign potentially, out of the two London rivals may well depend on the crucial aspects of his wages which are reportedly way more than Arsenal would ordinarily take on their books and, while for the player, his first team opportunities which could be limited at Stamford Bridge by Nemanja Matic.
However, the allure of working with Mourinho may be enough to convince him and whilst he would be in good company at the Emirates with three other German international and several Germany youth players at the club, he would have Andre Schurrle at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst the media has turned this into something of a transfer fight, it may well be the player already knows which destination he prefer and which is the club that suits his requirements for his career and future and Lukas Podolski or Jose Mourinho's attempts to swing the deal either way may turn out to be fruitless either way.