Swiss International and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is edging closer to completing his transfer to Italian giants AS Roma, according to Chris Wheatley of Football.London. He will become Jose Mourinho’s first signing as the new Roma boss.
Granit Xhaka Set for Roma Transfer
Fee Around $20 Million Mark Has Been Agreed
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager has spoken highly of Xhaka in the past and regarded him as one of his top targets for this summer.
“Xhaka is the main man in the entire Arsenal midfield, you can’t see it unless I lend you one of my eyes,” he said earlier this year during his spell in North London.
Football.London have reported that the deal is expected to be completed ‘very soon’. With the Euros starting tomorrow, and Switzerland’s group opener on Saturday, both clubs will look to move swiftly and get it over the line before the tournament begins.
Despite many critics, Xhaka has always played an important role for Arsenal. He has spent five years at the club and has made over 200 appearances for the Gunners. Xhaka was a mainstay under three different managers and will be a big loss in midfield for Mikel Arteta. He played 31 league games this season and even covered in at left-back in Kieran Tierney’s absence.
However, this may just be the first stage in what appears to be a major rebuild at the Emirates. Granit Xhaka has been the face of a team who have continually under-performed in recent years. His departure will open the door for a fresh face and someone who Arteta will hope will drive the team forward.
Xhaka’s absence will leave a space open in midfield with the Gunner’s now to be looking for a long-term partner for Thomas Partey.
Xhaka’s Departure Could Pave the Way for Ruben Neves
Xhaka’s exit is expected to pave the way for Arsenal to complete a deal for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.
Having missed out on Emi Buendia, the Gunners have been linked with several midfielders already this transfer window. Brighton and Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma is another man Arsenal are reportedly keen on bringing to North London.
What is clear is that this is just the beginning of what will be an extremely busy window for Arsenal. An eighth-placed finish means the Gunners will miss out on European football entirely next season. Arteta has a bloated squad, and with fewer games, he will be looking to shift many players out the door. This is a real opportunity for Arsenal to prioritize quality over quantity in this window.