We’ve long been linked with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Granit Xhaka, but have apparently stepped up our pursuit with an initial £24m bid for the Swiss international, as reported by the Mirror.
Talks are reportedly ongoing already, with Arsene Wenger confident of getting a deal done. The Mirror suggests the Bundesliga side are looking for closer to the £32m mark, but the Arsenal boss will no doubt be looking to bring the price down significantly.
Wenger is known for waiting until the last minute to get his deals done, making sure he gets the best bargain possible. We regularly see deadline day deals get done, so making such an early move for the 23-year-old is a real statement of intent.
There are still question marks over whether Xhaka is the player we need, as he performs a very specific role. He doesn’t boast the same defensive qualities as Francis Coquelin, but it’s questionable whether he offers as much going forward as the likes of Santi Cazorla.
He’s certainly a hugely talented midfielder, but we should arguably be prioritising the strengthening of other areas. That said though, this summer could see a bit of a culling at Arsenal, with a number of players potentially coming to the ends of their respective Arsenal careers.
The likes of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, and Tomas Rosicky are all getting on in years, and could retire at any point. There are a few others players who could be seen as surplus to requirements come the end of the campaign, and if the fans had their way then we would see a bit of an overhaul at the club.
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Xhaka could end up being the long-term replacement for one of the many who look like being on their way out, and Wenger is clearly determined to bring him to the club.