It appears as though Arsenal’s long-standing interest in Sami Khedira is about to come to nothing, with reports in Spain suggesting that the Real Madrid midfielder has signed a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich.
Radio station Cadena SER claim the Germany international is all set to head home once his current deal at Santiago Bernabeu expires next summer.
Arsenal had been hoping to land the World Cup winner, with the presence of Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker in north London expected to work in their favour.
It would, however, appear that Khedira is ready to shun Premier League interest in favour of treading a path taken by former Real colleague Xabi Alonso in the recent past – with the Spaniard joining Bayern in August.
Real will look to get as much as possible out of the 27-year-old, though, before bidding him farewell, with opportunities opening up in the Spanish capital.
Croatian playmaker Luka Modric picked up a knock while on Euro 2016 qualifying duty and Khedira is among those pushing to provide cover in the middle of the park, with Carlo Ancelotti revealing that he has no intention of dipping into the January transfer market for reinforcements.
He told Radio Nacional de Espana: "No [Real will not be buying], because we are able to replace Modric. We have other important players for this type of situation.
"Last year we had the same problem with the injury to Khedira. We'll fix it by putting in another midfielder.
"We have the option of replacing him with Khedira, [Asier] Illarramendi and finally, we have the option of Isco, who does not have the habit of playing in the position but I think he can do it in some games.
"We have [Alvaro] Medran, a youngster from the Castilla who is doing very well and we like him. He may be an option at least to be with us."
Real’s transfer policy is weighted more towards summer deals than winter ones, with president Florentino Perez preferring to build pre-season.
A steady of stream of ‘Galacticos’ continue to make their way to the Spanish capital, and further reinforcements will be expected in 2015 if the likes of Khedira move on.
There has even been talk of the most expensive player in world football, Gareth Bale, being allowed to return to the Premier League if the right offer is tabled – with Manchester United and Chelsea said to be keen.
These are issues for another day, though, with Ancelotti prepared to work with those already at his disposal as he endeavours to bring the La Liga title back to the Bernabeu and successfully defend the Champions League crown Real claimed last season.