Granit Xhaka’s agent has confirmed the unsettled midfielder is on the brink of leaving Arsenal having agreed a switch back to the Bundesliga.
Xhaka moved to Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, but the Switzerland international has endured a tough season so far having been dropped for a period and stripped of the captaincy for a gesture towards the fans.
Xhaka has been linked with Leicester, Newcastle and AC Milan, while Mikel Arteta admitted earlier on Boxing Day he recommended the player signed for Manchester City while the new Gunners boss was assistant to Pep Guardiola.
And while Arteta insisted before the match at Bournemouth that Xhaka was part of his plans, saying: “As a player, when I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list.
“This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.
“He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded.
“But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very very positive about him, and him as well.
“Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him.”
However, the player is keen on a return to the Bundesliga with his agent confirming an agreement had been reached with Hertha Berlin and making his position clear as regards his future.
‘Look, I will say it frankly and honestly, we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,’ Xhaka’s agent José Noguera told Blick.
“We have told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sporting director Edu Gaspar, as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.
“Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear.
“It’s only about the transfer fee of the clubs.”
As per the report, Hertha have offered €25 million (£21.3m) to Arsenal for Xhaka, with the midfielder having cost the Gunners around £35m when he arrived from Monchengladbach three and a half years ago.