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Matthias Hangst

Professional rehabilitator Sami Khedira has less than nine months remaining on his contract at Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho, his former boss at the Bernabeu, has now returned to Chelsea. The Blues midfield depth is more than a little bit questionable. Connecting the dots? You're not the first: the London Evening Standard beat you to it.

Simon Johnson, who has been reasonably well-sourced on all things Chelsea recently, claims that the club are "ready to offer Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira a pre-contract* in January". Which I'm not sure makes that much sense -- the biggest knock on Khedira is that he's now frighteningly injury-prone, and getting him signed to a pre-contract just means that you're committed to paying for him whether or not his knee explodes in the second half of the season, which on recent form is perhaps more likely than not.

*If you're confused as to what he means by a pre-contract, teams from other countries can sign players on expiring contracts before their deal is already up, which is how, say, Nemanja Vidic ended up at Inter Milan this summer. Pre-contracts are a little bit weird, but if they include financial terms are generally considered binding, even if a player subsequently fails a medical.

I like the idea of a healthy Khedira on the team as an alternative to Nemanja Matic -- he was excellent at the World Cup even though he was coming off a major injury -- but I'm not sure I'd want Chelsea to pay the sort of wages he's supposedly after, especially if they're comfortable with Cesc Fabregas and Matic in the double pivot. While I think we need more midfield depth, Khedira only really makes sense as a starter, and probably one for a team that needs to take risks to get where it wants to go.

We're not playing that game, so I hope we pass.

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