Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka has fuelled speculation he will be moving to the Premier League next season by saying it is his “childhood dream” to play in England.
The Gladbach captain has attracted plenty of attention from top clubs around Europe this season, but he told Sport1.de that there is only one place where he would love to play.
“Everybody has a childhood dream, and for me it is England,” the Switzerland international said.
“That doesn’t mean that I have to or would like to go there – I’m extremely happy here and everything suits me down to the ground – but you do have to take a look around and talk with the club.
“Gladbach have given me everything I wanted and this has become a second home for me.”
Liverpool and Manchester City have both been linked with the 23-year-old, but Xhaka says his future is in the hands of his agent and the Bundesliga club and he will not be putting pressure on either.
Reports earlier this year suggested the player had already held talks over a possible move to Anfield.
“I don’t know if it will become an issue,” he said. “It’s not up to me, but my club.
“My task is to focus on my football. For as long as I am here, I want to give 100%, the rest will be done by my club and my agent.
“It really isn’t the case that I desperately want to leave. Everything would really have to come together [for that to happen].”
Former Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld recently said Xhaka is worth between 30 and 50 million euros (£23-38million), and that is a sum Gladbach would likely entertain for their captain.
It would also not break the budget of a Premier League club, given the increased television revenue they will receive from next season, although it might price Inter Milan – another of Xhaka’s suitors – out of the running.
“When somebody like Ottmar Hitzfeld says that about you, then it can only make you pride,” Xhaka added.
“I’ll leave it up to others to judge if I’m really worth between 30 and 50 million. I don’t know.”
Xhaka has scored three goals in 18 Bundesliga appearances this season and has now played 130 times for the Foals since joining them from Basle in 2012.