By Paul Clennam
Manchester United are plotting a €13 million January bid for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, Goal can reveal.
United have turned their attentions to the Germany World Cup winner after being informed by Roma that Louis Van Gaal’s No.1 midfield target Kevin Strootman will not be allowed to move when the transfer window reopens.
Goal revealed last month that Van Gaal had been given the green light to spend again in January following an unprecedented summer outlay which saw the likes of Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and Radamel Falcao move to Old Trafford.
Despite that promise, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has asked the club's manager to put forward a cheaper alternative to Strootman with Roma likely to demand over €38 million for a player who has yet to make his comeback from the cruciate knee ligament injury he sustained in March.
Van Gaal has now sanctioned a move for Khedira and the club are confident they can complete a deal for the 27-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer and appears set on leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, for as little as €13m.
The former Stuttgart midfielder is currently recovering from a thigh injury and is due to make his comeback following the international break, although he faces intense competition to force his way back into Carlo Ancelotti’s plans with the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Asier Illaramendi and Isco all vying for a place in the Italian’s starting line-up.
Khedira is understood to be keen to move to a club in the Champions League but United are willing to match his €255,000-a-week wage demands in order to lure him to Old Trafford.
The Germany international was valued at €26m by the Spanish giants in the summer and was the subject of an approach from Arsenal.
However, a disagreement over personal terms derailed the deal, with Arsenal unwilling to smash their wage structure to sign the 27-year-old.