Hertha Berlin midfielder Sami Khedira has announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2020-21 season. 

The 34-year-old's last game will be against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

Khedira joined Hertha in February after five-and-a-half years with Serie A giants Juventus, where he won five Scudettos and three Coppa Italia titles. 

Prior to that he enjoyed five seasons at Real Madrid, claiming one LaLiga title and the Champions League in 2013-14. 

He made 77 appearances for Germany and was an important part of the squad that won the 2014 World Cup.

Khedira, who won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in 2006-07, has made just eight appearances for Hertha this season, with only three of those starts. 

"Exactly 14 years ago to the day I was allowed to celebrate the championship with Stuttgart," he told a media conference.

"That was a wonderful day. Today is one that is very difficult for me personally because my football career will be over on Saturday at around 5:15 pm.

"It's a pretty tough step and it's hard for me to talk about, but it's the right decision. Fifteen years in professional football have left their mark and I have to honestly judge what I can and cannot do.

"First of all, I would like to gain some distance and relax. I will stay with football, in what form remains to be seen."

 

Sami Khedira is not intending to make himself "the big boss and the big saviour" of Hertha Berlin following his arrival from Juventus.

World Cup-winning midfielder Khedira joined Hertha on deadline day after being frozen out at Juve – he did not make a single appearance in a matchday squad under Andrea Pirlo.

Hertha sit 15th in the Bundesliga and are only outside the relegation play-off spot on goal difference, with Pal Dardai replacing Bruno Labbadia as head coach last week.

Khedira hopes to use his experience to steer the club away from the bottom three, though he has no intention of being an overbearing presence in the dressing room.

He told reporters: "I'm not coming here and saying, 'I'm the big boss.' I'm a normal man on the team.

"There are players who have more to say, that's in my nature a bit. But I'm a normal footballer who wants to do my part here.

"I want to bring in my experience and make clear statements. But I haven't come here to portray myself as the big boss and the big saviour. I'm part of the team."

Despite having played just 30 minutes of football since the 2019-20 season was suspended in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, Khedira assured he is ready to get straight down to work.

"I'm 100 per cent fit," said Khedira. "When you train with world-class players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro, you are always challenged.

"I left [Juventus] as I arrived: with a laugh. I spent five and a half fantastic years there. But now it's Hertha."

Khedira has an agreement with Hertha until the end of the season but is not ruling out staying beyond that.

"We've come to an agreement to work together until the end of the season. That doesn't mean that it will definitely end there, though," he said.

"There's huge trust between me and [sporting director] Arne Friedrich, so we don't need a piece of paper binding us together."

Liverpool's need for defensive reinforcements was always likely to dominate the headlines on transfer deadline day and so it proved as the Premier League champions made two late signings.

Centre-back Ben Davies arrived from Preston North End, while Liverpool made a further addition to the heart of their backline with the loan signing of Ozan Kabak from Bundesliga strugglers Schalke until the end of the season.

Those signings came on a day that saw Joel Matip ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are long-term absentees and Liverpool were forced to play Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Phillips at centre-back in Sunday's win at West Ham.

Heading for the Anfield exit door is Takumi Minamino, the forward moving to Southampton on a six-month loan deal having only joined Liverpool last January.

It came after Southampton loaned veteran Shane Long to promotion-chasing Championship side Bournemouth.

Bournemouth also sanctioned the departure of Joshua King to Everton for a nominal fee until the end of the season.

There were outgoings at Arsenal as well, with Shkodran Mustafi signing for Schalke on a short-term deal and Joe Willock going on loan to Newcastle United, who let DeAndre Yedlin leave for Galatasaray.

Arsenal also sent Ainsley Maitland-Niles to West Brom on loan.

Turkish giants Galatasaray acquired Gedson Fernandes on a temporary deal from Benfica following an unsuccessful stint at Tottenham.

In Serie A, Parma landed Bayern Munich's teenage forward Joshua Zirkzee in a loan deal that contains the option to sign the 19-year-old permanently.

Atalanta are firmly in contention for a top-four finish in Serie A and bolstered their ranks for that push with the capture of Ukraine midfielder Viktor Kovalenko from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Roma can afford to have hopes of a title challenge and brought in teenage full-back Bryan Reynolds from MLS outfit Dallas on an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy, to help them.

Frozen out at Juventus, midfielder Sami Khedira is back in the Bundesliga following a switch to Hertha Berlin, but one of European football's most exciting talents is heading to Italy after Udinese signed Jayden Braaf on loan from Manchester City with an option to buy.

Elsewhere, Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny joined Celtic on loan for the rest of the season, Brighton and Hove Albion signed highly rated midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle, West Brom loaned Okay Yokuslu from Celta Vigo and defender Teden Mengi moved from Manchester United to Wayne Rooney's Derby County on a temporary basis.

Sami Khedira hopes to repay Hertha Berlin for bringing him back to the Bundesliga by helping the club enjoy success on the pitch. 

The German midfielder has returned to his homeland to try and kick-start his career having been frozen out at Juventus this season. 

Khedira won five Serie A titles during his time with Juve but featured sparingly across the previous two campaigns as he was hampered by injury issues.

However, the 33-year-old – who was part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup – insists he is fit and ready to get back playing again with Hertha, who have struggled so far this term. 

"Hertha made great efforts to sign me and offered me the opportunity to return to the Bundesliga," Khedira said. 

"I'm grateful for that and I honestly cannot wait for the moment when I'll be wearing the blue and white shirt on the pitch for the first time. 

"I feel great physically would like to use the experience I have gained in recent years to help the team and lead Hertha to more sporting success."

Khedira won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in 2006-07 and also had domestic and European success during his time with Real Madrid, including lifting the Champions League trophy in 2014. 

Now, though, he has joined a Hertha side that sit just above the relegation places. They recently made a coaching change, bringing back former boss Pal Dardai to try and improve their fortunes. 

"Sami Khedira is a successful leader on the pitch and a name that is recognised around the world. I am delighted that we have been able to bring him to Hertha BSC," said Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt. 

"I am convinced that with his personality on and off the pitch, he will give our young team the stability it needs to be successful."

As well as Khedira, Hertha also confirmed the arrival of winger Nemanja Radonjic from Marseille on deadline day, initially on loan for the rest of the season but with an option to buy. 

Sami Khedira is in talks with Hertha Berlin over a return to the Bundesliga, the German club's chief executive has confirmed.

Juventus midfielder Khedira is expected to leave the Serie A champions before the transfer window closes on Monday.

The contract extension the World Cup winner signed in 2018 is up at the end of the season, but he is set to depart early having failed to appear in a single matchday squad for Juve this term.

Khedira initially had a big impact after joining the Turin club in 2015, scoring 19 goals in 77 games across three successive title-winning Serie A campaigns.

He has since played just 22 times in the competition, suffering with injuries and falling out of favour entirely under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo.

Khedira spoke of a potential move to the Premier League ahead of January, but Berlin and Hertha – 14th in the Bundesliga – now appears his most likely destination.

Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt told Sky Sport: "Yes, we are having talks with Sami Khedira. I can confirm that. I also spoke to him on the phone.

"We are dealing with it, but there are still a few things to be clarified, of course. We still have many questions to answer."

But Schmidt would not comment on Hertha's reported interest in Werder Bremen attacker Milot Rashica.

Rashica has been hindered by knee and thigh problems this season, playing just 379 minutes in all competitions and failing to score. He has provided a single assist from five chances created.

Manchester City are reportedly planning a bid for Harry Kane, while United are still interested in Jack Grealish.

City have been linked with numerous forwards amid uncertainty over Sergio Aguero's future.

And it seems the Tottenham star is among their targets.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY PLANNING £88.7M BID FOR KANE

Manchester City are planning an £88.7million offer for Tottenham star Kane ahead of next season, according to Bild.

Kane, 27, is contracted at Spurs, where he continues to star, until 2024.

The England international has scored nine goals in 15 Premier League games this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United remain interested in signing Aston Villa star Grealish, according to the Daily Mail. The midfielder was heavily linked with a move to United in the close season, but ended up staying at Villa, who are in action at Old Trafford on Friday.

- Eric Garcia has seemingly made a decision on his future. The Guardian reports the Manchester City defender has agreed personal terms on a five-year deal with Barcelona. Garcia is contracted at City until the end of the season.

- With Mauricio Pochettino reportedly set to take over at Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham apparently have worries over Hugo Lloris. The Sun reports Spurs fear the goalkeeper could join former boss Pochettino in Paris and they are eyeing West Brom's Sam Johnstone and Manchester United's Dean Henderson as potential targets.

- Yet to play for Arsenal this season, Mesut Ozil's future remains a talking point. Bild reports the playmaker wants to see out his contract, which runs until season's end, with the Premier League outfit.

- Also coming out of contract, Sami Khedira looks set for a Juventus exit. The Daily Mail reports the midfielder is set to hold talks with Everton over a potential move.

- Struggling for game time at Manchester United, Jesse Lingard has had the one-year option on his contract at the club triggered, according to Sky Sports. Lingard's deal now runs until 2022.

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