Arsenal are ready to have their resolve tested for Granit Xhaka after Roma joined the race to sign the midfielder, according to reports.
Xhaka has been at Arsenal since 2016, when he joined from Borussia Monchengladbach. He became club captain at one point but was stripped of the title after clashing with fans in 2019. Since then, he has often been linked with an exit, even though Mikel Arteta has put more faith in him.
It now seems the end of his Arsenal career is approaching. It will be a critical summer at the Emirates Stadium as the club seek to adjust their squad for a stronger 2021-22 campaign. They have missed out on European football so will need to focus their energy on a higher Premier League finish.
But they might have to get rid of some unwanted players before they can buy some of their targets. Xhaka is one of the players whose future could be in doubt.
According to Sky Sports, the Switzerland international has an admirer in former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, who has just taken over at Roma.
The Serie A side are similarly looking to rebuild after an underwhelming campaign and have identified Xhaka as someone who can help them strengthen.
Mourinho has spoken fondly of Xhaka in public before and now could have the chance to work with him. It is claimed that Roma and Arsenal are now in talks over a potential deal.
However, they seem to disagree over the midfielder’s value. Arsenal want to receive somewhere in the region of €25m for him. But according to Calciomercato, Roma’s first offer is €15m plus an unspecified amount of bonuses.
Sky also claim that the Italians would rather pay somewhere closer to £10m, which is less than half of the asking price.
But if Xhaka pushes for the move, Arsenal may have to drop their demands. His contract runs until 2023, so this may be an ideal opportunity for the Gunners to cash in.
It seems they won’t be able to recoup the money they originally spent on him, though, which was above £30m.
Arsenal try to offload trio
Xhaka is not the only player who Arsenal might get rid of this summer. They have a lot of work to do to raise funds and reinvest to make the squad more competitive.
Reports earlier on Thursday named three others who could make way as part of their plans.
According to Kicker, defender William Saliba is a surprise target for Bayer Leverkusen. He is currently out on loan with Nice and has never made a senior appearance for the Gunners.
The same outlet added that fellow loaned-out defender Konstantinos Mavropanos is also in demand. After spending the season with Stuttgart, that move could become permanent. However, Lazio also want him.
And according to La Provence, another man to leave could be midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who is wanted back in his native France by Marseille.
It seems it will be a busy summer of ins and outs at the Emirates.