We’ve recently been linked with a big money move for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, but the Swiss star claims he wants Francis Coquelin’s No.34 shirt if he’s to complete the switch to Arsenal, according to German publication Tor Fabrik.
The 23-year-old admits it’s a “childhood dream” of his to play in the Premier League, which will only fuel the speculation regarding a potential Arsenal switch. During the interview he suggests that he’s spoken to Coquelin regarding the transfer – and perhaps taking the Frenchman’s squad number – although admittedly it seems to be a little tongue in cheek.
“I have a childhood dream, that is the Premier League. Whether I play a second or a hundred games in England, I would like to eventually make this childhood dream come true,” he said.
“34 was my first professional number at Basel. It’s even tattooed on my back. I would also like to wear it in the future.
“It was also like that at Gladbach, with Amin Younes. And at Arsenal Coquelin has it,” Xhaka replied, when asked about joining Arsenal where the No.34 was already taken.
“I’ve spoken with him [Coquelin], he would like to take another number.”
You have to imagine that Xhaka hasn’t actually spoken to Coquelin about an Arsenal switch or taking his number, but he certainly doesn’t seem opposed to a move to north London.
He clearly wants to play int he Premier League, and Arsene Wenger could give him the opportunity to realise his dream.
The question is, just how much of a deal breaker would not having the 34 shirt be? And would Francis Coquelin be willing to switch to a different number?
Arsenal transfer news
Previous reports have linked us with a €40m (£30.5m) move for the former FC Basel man (via the Daily Star), but whether or not Wenger would be willing to fork out that kind of cash for the highly rated youngster remains to be seen.