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Sep 2, 2013

Sami Khedira 'staying put at Madrid'

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira will not be leaving the club, his agent has told Die Welt.

• Corrigan: Ronaldo still top dog

Khedira, 26, has been linked with a move away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the wake of Gareth Bale’s arrival from Tottenham, with Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea believed to be interested.

However, according to his representative Jorg Neubauer, the Germany international, who played 71 minutes in Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, is not going anywhere.

“Sami will stay at Real,” he told Die Welt on Monday morning. “Just like he has always said."

Khedira, who is contracted to Madrid until 2015, joined the club from Stuttgart after the 2010 World Cup. He has played 80 league games and scored five goals during his three years at the Bernabeu.

Meanwhile, midfielder Luka Modric says Madrid fans are only now seeing his best form, in comments which suggest Bale may take a while to get up to speed at the Bernabeu.

Modric, 27, was man of the match in the win over Athletic, putting in a superb showing in deep midfield -- full of strong tackles, clever interceptions and excellent passing.

He played with such confidence and authority that he looked a different player from the one who arrived at the end of last summer's transfer window, after a drawn-out saga similar to that which played out this year before Bale's deal was finally agreed.

The Croatia international told reporters after the game that the reason he was playing much better now was because he had taken a long time to get his rhythm and fitness right after spending most of last summer in limbo waiting to complete his transfer.

“When you do not have pre-season it is very difficult to come into the team and find your rhythm,” Modric said. “You need rhythm and precision, you need that connection with your team-mates. This year it is much better because I have been able to begin from zero with the rest of my team-mates. I am very pleased with my performance. I will work to try to continue with this form and improve even more in the future."

The playmaker -- who looks set for an extended run as Madrid’s midfield ‘pivote’ given Xabi Alonso’s injury -- was asked how much he had enjoyed hearing the Bernabeu fans chanting his name in the second half.

“Today the fans have enjoyed themselves,” Modric said. “It was our best game of the season. Each game we are playing better.”

It had not been difficult to strike up an understanding with Madrid’s new €30 million attacker Isco, who scored twice against the Basques.

“I do not have trouble understanding him,” Modric said. “He is a great player and from the very beginning we have understood each other. He is a player that makes us a lot better.”

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