The likelihood of Arsenal signing Sami Khedira continues to lessen with reports the unwanted Real Madrid midfielder wishes to join Bayern Munich. Positive news is offered on the Adrien Rabiot front, however, as the Paris Saint-Germain youngster looks set to move on after the Gunners' bid was reportedly accepted.
Khedira appeared to be a key target for manager Arsene Wenger during the initial stages of the transfer window. The German star's wage demands are said to have put the north London club off, per Spanish publication AS and via talkSPORT.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti no longer needs the defensive midfielder after capturing Bayern's Toni Kroos, but the two clubs could soon strike up a deal that will see Khedira head back to his homeland. Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC reports sources who "state Khedira has now instructed his representatives to investigate the possibility of a move to Bayern, with the Bundesliga champions pondering a potential move."
Which midfielder should Arsenal opt for?
Arsenal desperately need a defensive midfield type. Khedira is a perfect fit for the Emirates club, where he could dictate play ahead of the back four and stride forward when greater attacking numbers are needed. He offers quality in possession, physical stature and natural tackling ability that would intimidate opponents far more than Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta currently do.
Wenger may have found a long-term solution to his lack of specialised defensive midfielders in the shape of Rabiot. RMC, via Bruce Archer of the Daily Star, reports a bid of "around £5.5 million" has been accepted for the talented 19-year-old. Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio also suggests the Premier League club have made a "very rich" offer to secure Rabiot's signature.
Veronique Rabiot, the player's mother and agent, confirmed her son "does not want to extend" his contract at the Parc des Princes, per Sky Sports. She also suggested Juventus "could be of interest" during a spell in which Rabiot was linked with the Serie A champions, Roma and Inter Milan.
Rabiot won't provide an instant solution to Wenger's midfield problems, but he could be a smart acquisition for the future.
He is used to working as a defensive midfielder and can move slightly further forward if needed due to his technical efficiency on the ball. Rabiot has all the makings of a top player—he is a creative passer, boasts plenty of energy and is solid in the tackle—but needs to lower his immediate expectations if he is to have a constant impact at one of Europe's top clubs.
Club Metro writer Andrew Gibney indicates Rabiot needs to concentrate on playing football:
Definitely not as excited about Adrien Rabiot as I was 18 months ago. Attitude issues (mainly his mum/adviser) Still young though. #PSG— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) August 19, 2014
Similar to his time with PSG, Rabiot will be nothing more than a rotational player if he links up with Arsenal this year. Wenger is the right type of character to develop both his game and attitude. Even so, a move for Khedira is more profitable if the French manager desires an immediate fix for his defensive midfield dilemma.
Wenger has signed well this summer—with Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers already slotting into the first team—but Arsenal are one or two signings away from having one of their most exciting squads in years.
Khedira would offer a step up to the side's current defensive midfielders while Rabiot should also be welcomed at the aforementioned cheap price. Both may be needed if the Gunners are to maintain a Premier League title challenge this season.