Khedira discussions confirmed - should Arsenal or Liverpool gatecrash?

The Real Madrid midfielder is set to leave the Bernabeu this summer - but one club is very much in pole position for his signature.

There are few players that have been as intensely linked to a Premier League switch as Sami Khedira in recent months. 

The German international has had his name associated with moves to Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea by sources including the Daily Star since the start of the season, but looks set to disappoint them all as a move back to the Bundesliga grows more and more likely.

The prospect of Schalke signing the former Stuttgart man has risen in recent weeks, and the German outfit, who narrowly lost out to Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 match this week, have confirmed that they are pursuing a transfer.

Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnie has told Bild that there has been contact between the player's representatives and the club, saying: “There have been initial talks. We believe that a fit-again Khedira would help us."

But where does this leave Khedira's Premier League suitors? And do they even need him? Of course, any one of them could also be in contact with Khedira, though there haven't been any signs that he is going anywhere but back to Germany.

Arsenal's need for a defensive midfielder has subsided somewhat with the impressive form of Francis Coquelin since the turn of the year, and Arsene Wenger may be willing to give the Frenchman an extended run in the team rather than bringing in a new player. But the risk is that Coquelin is still relatively unproven in the long term, even if he is showing signs of developing into a fine player. Khedira would be a strong alternative, and may also help get the best out of former Real Madrid teammate Mesut Ozil. 

Liverpool have coped remarkably well with Steven Gerrard's absence, ahead of his switch to the MLS in the summer. Jordan Henderson has grown into his role as first-choice central midfielder and captain, while Emre Can has impressed even though he has been featuring in defence in recent weeks. Khedira could find a spot in the Reds midfield if Can were to continue at the back, allowing Henderson more freedom to push forward, especially as the Real Madrid man would seem to be an improvement over Lucas and Joe Allen.

Manchester United have plenty of options in that defensive midfield role, with Michael Carrick, Daley Blind and Marouane Fellaini all capable of operating there, but with Carrick the most competent, and also turning 34 this summer, there is room for a genuine top class addition in the engine room. The problem for the Red Devils is that a creative central midfield player is probably more of a priority.

Whatever the three sides might be thinking as they contemplate Khedira, they shouldn't forget that he is a 27-year-old World Cup and Champions League winner who is available on a free transfer. And that that kind of opportunity to strengthen your squad doesn't comes along very often.

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