Stuttgart manager Christian Gross admits he is expecting approaches for Sami Khedira this summer, with Chelsea and Manchester United both ready to battle for the services of the midfielder.
Khedira is currently part of the successful German side taking the World Cup by storm, and Gross has resigned himself to losing his star should the midfielder continue his current form for Joachim Low’s side in South Africa.
"It would be very painful if Sami left on a free. If he has two more great World Cup games, all the big clubs will come for him," he said.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with a move for the 23-year-old as a replacement for Michael Ballack, who Khedira himself replaced in the German starting lineup after Ballack was injured in the FA Cup final prior to the tournament.
With Joe Cole also heading out of Stamford Bridge this summer, Ancelotti could be tempted to make a move for the playmaker, who is reportedly valued at £12 million.
Meanwhile Old Trafford chief Sir Alex Ferguson will soon be in the hunt for replacements for veteran pair Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in the Red Devils' midfield, and may be persuaded to lodge a bid for the highly rated German.
Stuttgart would be devastated to lose their man on a free transfer when Khedira’s contract expires next summer, and may find a sizeable bid extremely difficult to turn down should either Chelsea or United come calling.
Khedira has been one of the shining lights of the World Cup so far, stepping up to the plate in the absence of Ballack in the German engine room.
The 23-year-old captained the German under-21 side to success in the 2009 European Championships - dismantling a shell-shocked England in the final – and could soon be plying his trade in the Premier League should Messrs Ancelotti and Ferguson come calling.
By Joe Brewin