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Chelsea Transfer News: Blues Reportedly Ahead of Arsenal in Sami Khedira Race

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24:  Sami Khedira of Real Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

Chelsea have reportedly emerged as favourites to sign Sami Khedira from Real Madrid, after Arsenal were put off the German midfielder due to his hefty wage demands.    

Metro, via Darren Lewis of the Mirror, explains that west London could be the destination for Khedira:

Chelsea have moved into pole position to Sami Khedira from Real Madrid with Arsenal refusing to meet his £150,000-a-week wage demands.

[...] The news opens the door for Chelsea who have also spoken to Madrid about the player and would have no problem matching his huge salary demands.

In Lewis' original report, he confirms: "Arsenal look set to end their interest in Sami Khedira following the World Cup-winning midfielder's demand to become the club's best-paid player."

He also states the Gunners aren't willing to be "held to ransom" by a £150,000 per week contract that would see Khedira earn more than the £130,000 weekly wage received by Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Khedira enjoyed five decent performances at the World Cup with Germany, the best of which came during the eventual winners' 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semi-final. The defensive midfielder looked extremely confident when bursting from deep and proceeded to collect the ball in dangerous areas before slotting home his only goal of the tournament.

Unfortunately, Khedira was forced to sit out the final against Argentina after sustaining a calf injury during the warm-up, reported by Tom Sheen of the Independent.

This disappointment rounded off a season of niggling problems for the 27-year-old, who made just 13 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in November.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 24:  Sami Khedira of Real Madrid and Tiago of Club Atletico de Madrid battle for the ball uring the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 24, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Phot
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Khedira was a firm favourite of Mourinho during the Portuguese manager's time at the Bernabeu. In an interview with Spox in 2012, reported via Livio Caferoglu of Goal.com, the current Chelsea boss said: "I currently do not know any other player that is better than Sami in his position."

Should this feeling remain true, Arsenal may have a problem on their hands. Khedira would represent Chelsea's second major midfield addition of the summer after Cesc Fabregas headed to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona.

The former Gunners star, whose creative input is likely to dictate behind Diego Costa during the 2014-15 campaign, could form a well-balanced and highly adaptable partnership alongside Khedira.

Simon Jones of the Daily Mail insists talks between Khedira and Arsenal have "broken down," with Arsene Wenger already turning his attention to Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender. Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports also indicates this switch of emphasis may need to take place, despite Arsenal's continued interest in Khedira:

Having already spent £30 million on Sanchez this summer, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed further transfers can be expected.

"We've pulled off a good one with Alexis Sanchez, it's a great signing for us," he said, per Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard. "I'm happy for the club, but there’s more work to be done."

There's no doubt Khedira could strengthen Chelsea or Arsenal's central area. He is an under-the-radar type of player, no doubt about it, but his willingness to keep the ball moving and to continue hassling often puts his team on to the front foot.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho talks to the press at the Chelsea Training Ground on May 2, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

As we saw during the World Cup, Joachim Low's eagerness to offer the midfielder a little more freedom also unveiled an attacking threat that isn't often witnessed with Madrid. Chelsea have stacked numbers in midfield—with the likes of Fabregas, Ramires, Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel already battling for places—meaning Khedira's arrival could see someone move the other way.

Mourinho is quickly developing the squad he believes can emulate the success of his previous spell with the Blues. Khedira would be a shrewd, reliable signing if he is brought in to tighten things up and can help Chelsea to their first Premier League title since 2010.

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