According to reports in the media prior to today, there were indications that Arsenal were close to sealing a £23.5 million deal for Real Madrid and German midfielder Sami Khedira. But, the deal seem to be up the air with new reports emerging that Arsenal has pulled out of the deal following the wage demands of the German.
Few persons affiliated to the club had hitherto expressed doubts that the deal would happen initially because of the huge financial commitment involved, from all indications, it seems those fears have been realised judging by the new reports.
Sami Khedira is demanding in excess of £150,000 a week excluding bonuses to move to Arsenal, which is quite on the high side especially against the backdrop that he is reportedly on £90,000 a week in his current contract at Madrid which makes such wages demands outrageous from the newly crowned World cup champion. This is a player that has a record with injuries and was out for most of last season due to an anterior cruciate injury. And he is not an archetype defensive midfielder to really say the least, more in the mode of a box-to-box midfielder.
However, should Arsenal fret over the fact that this transfer could finally fall through? The club has also being linked to Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton and Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen. Both these players represent a cheaper option than the 27 year old Real Madrid midfielder. Another added advantage is that they are both younger than Sami Khedira. The Real Madrid midfielder might have more experience than the duo above, but the Saints and Leverkusen midfielders could be a better bet for Arsenal after all.
Morgan Schneiderlin can be put on a wage of £70,000 a week which will represent an upgrade on what he is currently on at Southampton; Arsenal will end up saving £80,000 from the Khedira deal. And he is just 24 years old, together with the fact that he has spent 6 years in England, two of that in the Premier League which is a huge bonus in terms of the fact that he knows the league.
Lars Bender on the other hand, is two years younger than Sami Khedira, and he does not have the same injury record that has plagued the Real Madrid midfielder.
The news might be bleak as regards pulling the Sami Khedira deal over the line, but if it turns out that the deal fails on accounts on his wage demands, it could turn out to Arsenal’s advantage if the club can get in the likes of Lars Bender or Morgan Schneiderlin, who both represent a far better bet for the holding midfield position.