All signs point to an imminent Sami Khedira exit from Real Madrid, bringing an end to a four-year marriage that in truth was over the moment the player returned from the 2014 World Cup.
As reported by Goal's Mark Doyle, Khedira told German newspaper Bild he has no idea whether he'll still be a member of Los Blancos at the end of this transfer window, saying, "Right now I'm a little out of Real Madrid. But until August 31 anything is possible."
Coach Carlo Ancelotti had been one of Khedira's staunchest defenders throughout the summer, but after Real's Super Cup loss to Atletico Madrid, even he acknowledged the midfielder is as good as gone, per BeIN Sports.
"Khedira had permission, I gave him permission to leave." he said. "When a player is free I'm not interested in his whereabouts."
Khedira has one year left on his current deal, and rumours started surfacing he had no interest of signing a new deal as soon as the World Cup was over. As shared by The Independent's Chris Wheatley, those rumours were confirmed on Thursday:
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says Sami Khedira has rejected a new contract. Current deal expires next summer. Arsenal keen.— Chris Wheatley (@GoonerTalk) August 21, 2014
Fans and pundits can only speculate as to why Khedira is no longer interested in continuing his time in the Spanish capital. Perhaps it's the barrage of new midfield signings, which are leading to the likely departure of both Khedira and Angel Di Maria.
There's another angle to consider, however: Maybe Los Blancos are just as ready to move on from Khedira as the player wants to leave.
The German international is a phenomenal player, but his injury history reads like something out of a horror story. Transfermarkt.com keeps a detailed record of every player's injury history, and Khedira has entries in every single season since 2008.
His latest injury was by far the worst: a cruciate ligament rupture that forced him to sit for 169 days, missing 39 total matches. He returned to health late in the 2013-14 season and was back to his old self during the World Cup only to miss the final with yet another injury.
Real Madrid knew Khedira's contract would expire at the end of the 2014-15 season. If they wanted to player to be part of the team's long-term plans, they could have put all their efforts into resigning him as soon as the World Cup had ended.
The process likely would have taken weeks, but Khedira's representatives could have started negotiations while the holding midfielder took a well-deserved holiday.
Los Blancos didn't. They focused all of their attention on the transfer market, brought in two central midfielders and never once publicly stated Khedira's new deal was a priority.
Will Khedira leave Real in 2014?
The club essentially opened the door for Khedira to reconsider his future, talk to some of his German teammates and assess his options.
If he came to the conclusion he wanted to stay, Real would no doubt find a use for the experienced veteran.
But fresh off an impressive World Cup win and forced to watch as Los Blancos openly courted Toni Kroos, who looks like he could be a straight replacement for the midfielder, Khedira was always going to choose a departure over a reduced role.
As of right now, Khedira is still a member of Real Madrid, but his exit from the club seems all but inevitable at this point. And in truth, it has been for a long time.