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Unai Emery lauds Khedira but dismisses rumours

Bengaluru, July 30: Unai Emery praised Sami Khedira after the Juventus midfielder was spotted attending Arsenal’s pre-season friendly at Emirates Stadium against Lyon. However Emery has dismissed claims that the Gunners will make a move for the midfielder.

The 32-year-old was scarcely involved in Juve’s system last season, featuring for 977 minutes of football, across 17 appearances for the Serie A club. And following their signing of Ramsey and Rabiot, the Old Lady are now intending to trim their squad and Khedira is the latest name who could depart the Allianz Stadium after not being included in Juve’s pre-season tour of Asia.

Khedira's current deal runs until 2021, having signed a new contract with the Serie A side in September 2018 but given Juventus are open to getting rid of him and they initially signed him on a free transfer, they are open to letting him go for a minimal fee.

He has been linked with Turkish side Besiktas and several Major League Soccer outfits as well Premier League side Wolves but some of the latest reports have claimed that Arsenal are looking to sign the midfielder on a cheap deal.

The midfielder's presence at the Emirates over the weekend only intensified rumours he could soon join former team-mate Mesut Ozil in north London.

But dissing all such rumours Emery now has claimed that the World Cup winner is not on his radar despite praising the 32-year-old's abilities as a player.

"Khedira is a very good player but this is the first time I have heard his name mentioned," the Spaniard said about the midfielder's presence.

Given Emery already has an excess of midfield options with Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka as well new addition Dani Cabellos who arrived on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid earlier this week, there would not have been many opportunities for the veteran midfielder but surely he could have instilled valuable experience to the squad. But looking at the current statement from the Spanish manager, it looks likely now his future remains far from the Gunners.

Arsenal, however, are still likely to splash out cash this week for other targets, with moves for Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe believed to be close.

Attacker Pepe is likely to cost £72million from Lille, while left-back Tierney is set to join for £25m from Celtic.

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Story first published: Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 14:53 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 30, 2019
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