Premier League • England

Arsenal agree revised fee for midfield transfer with confirmation expected within days; Barcelona try snatching second star

Declan Rice and Granit Xhaka

West Ham captain Declan Rice and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka

Arsenal are on the verge of selling Granit Xhaka after an agreement was struck about a new valuation for the Swiss star, who may not be the only midfielder leaving the club this summer.

While Arsenal focus on bolstering their midfield with the club-record signing of Declan Rice from West Ham, Xhaka has become a top target for Bayer Leverkusen this summer, after a season in which he was a hugely important part of the squad that finished as runners up to Manchester City in the Premier League.

Indeed, Xhaka has come a long way since a clash with supporters in 2019 that almost led to his exit from the club. If he does leave this year, it will be with more than a hint of sadness for the Arsenal faithful.

Amid rumours that Bayer Leverkusen have a long-term contract waiting for him in Germany, Arsenal reportedly raised their asking price for Xhaka recently.

Nevertheless, Football London claims an improved bid from Bayer Leverkusen has now been accepted by Arsenal and the deal should be finalised in the coming days.

Rather than the original estimation of £13m, Arsenal have managed to secure a £21.5m windfall from the Xhaka sale – as long as he passes a medical with Bayer Leverkusen to complete the transfer.

Equating to €25m, the fee will make Xhaka the third most expensive signing in Bayer Leverkusen history. Although he is now 30, the German side – who will be in next season’s Europa League – are ready to make a significant commitment by signing him.

READ MOREArsenal make ‘superb’ £77.3m midfielder ‘top priority’ to partner Rice to leave Liverpool free to sign £45m alternative

They will be taking him back to the Bundesliga after his previous spell with Borussia Monchengladbach between 2012 and 2016. Before that, he began his career with Basel, but it is Arsenal for whom he has made the most appearances in his career.

In fact, Xhaka – who played 47 times last season – is three games shy of the landmark of 300 outings for Arsenal. It now looks like a milestone he might never reach.

Arsenal braced for Barcelona interest in another midfielder

Along with Xhaka, another player to vacate the Arsenal midfield this summer might be Thomas Partey. But a less established option in that territory could also make way.

Diario Sport has recently revealed how Miguel Azeez is of interest to Barcelona for their B team. The 20-year-old endured loan spells with Ibiza and Wigan Athletic during the season just gone, making 11 appearances for the former and two for the latter.

Arsenal still have Azeez under contract for another year, but Sport suggests Barcelona want to acquire him for free. To do so this year, they would offer Arsenal a percentage of any future sale as a negotiating sweetener.

While that may seem like a strange deal for the Gunners to agree to, Azeez is said to be keen on a move whereby he can earn more trust.

Barcelona B currently play in the third tier of Spanish football. Whether he would be able to progress to their first team, only time will tell.

Azeez has a solitary senior appearance in Arsenal colours to his name, which came during the 2020-21 Europa League against Dundalk.