Manchester United’s pursuit of a 20th Premier League title is gathering momentum, but they will have to wait until the summer to strengthen a midfield in which the most invention comes from two players above the age of 37.
While the Red Devils will always welcome the extended contributions of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, there will come a time when they simply cannot continue to play at the highest level, and so Sir Alex Ferguson’s £20m pursuit of Sami Khedira appears highly sensible.
The 24-year-old German was a prominent member of Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid squad after his summer move in 2010, which came on the back of a mightily impressive World Cup for the midfielder, where he was a key component in Germany’s march to the semi-finals.
However, he has featured from the start more sporadically in recent months, and this has alerted Ferguson, who would welcome the addition of the defensive capabilities and wide passing range Khedira would add to his midfield.
A midfield enforcer, the potential arrival of Khedira could cause a shift in the tempo of Manchester United’s play, with players such as Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher certain to be allowed more freedom in a side containing an out-and-out holding midfielder.
That said, Ferguson is believed to be looking at a number of more attack-minded midfield talents also.
Nicolas Gaitan, of Benfica, impressed the legendary Scotsman immensely during their Champions League group encounters this season, and it is believed that Ferguson would love to bring the Argentine to Old Trafford, but is not willing to meet his £37.5m release clause.
Gaitan’s Benfica teammate Javi Garcia is another option, and while the Spaniard prefers to sit in a deeper midfield role, his sublime vision and exquisite passing range means he can turn defence into attack in an instant.