Arsenal are hoping to make Granit Xhaka their first summer signing after reports claimed they had tabled a £33.8million offer for the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder.
The 23-year-old has a release clause set at £19.7m (€25m) but it does not come into effect until the end of next season.
But Arsene Wenger is keen to complete a deal now, with the Gunners poised to let Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini leave when their contracts expire next month, while the Frenchman has already confirmed the departure of Mikel Arteta.
The German press claims Monchengladbach are resigned to losing Xhaka, despite valuing him at £35m in an effort to ward off interest from a host of clubs. They go on to claim that they have already lined up Bayern Munich’s defensive midfielder Sebastian Rode as Xhaka’s replacement.
Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl stated the club would not give up their star man easily, but admitted it is difficult given the calibre of teams interested.
“We will fight for Granit,” he told kicker on Monday, adding: “There are clubs who can offer an even bigger chance of playing Champions League and competing for titles and trophies.”
Xhaka has been identified as the powerful and dynamic defensive midfield presence Arsenal need to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Wenger bolstered that position after signing Mohamed Elneny from Basel for £7million in January but further reinforcements are required and Xhaka is keen on a move to England.