Arsenal are refusing to budge over their valuation of Granit Xhaka after rejecting a third bid from Roma for the midfielder, according to reports.
Xhaka is one of many players facing an uncertain future at Arsenal as they plot a summer rebuild. After missing out on European qualification for next season, they need to modify their squad to get back where they belong. And the Swiss midfielder could be one to make way, as he has become a top target for Roma.
Jose Mourinho is a major admirer of Xhaka and has made that praise public in the past. Now, he wants to work with him after taking a new job in the Italian capital.
There was hope that a deal could be completed before Euro 2020 began. However, that did not transpire, as Xhaka started started Switzerland’s draw with Wales while still an Arsenal player.
Roma raised their offer for a second time, but it still wasn’t enough to make Arsenal soften their stance.
Xhaka is under contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2023, so they aren’t under immediate pressure to sell, but know his value will begin to drop in the not too distant future. As things stand, though, the deal to send him to Roma is on stand-by.
The report claims the two clubs are “locked in negotiations”, but also that Roma “do not intend to raise their offer” further.
Therefore, Arsenal could effectively have a take-it-or-leave-it situation on their hands. With midfield being one area they want to invest in, they must decide whether it is worth keeping Xhaka there or not.
It is not clear if there are any other suitors for Xhaka, so this could be their only chance of getting him off the books.
At present, though, things seem to have reached a standstill. The outcome of this transfer saga may have to wait until after the Euros.
Arsenal line up replacement
With Xhaka already reportedly agreeing personal terms with Roma, Arsenal may have to accept his wishes.
Indeed, it recently emerged that they were preparing for his exit by lining up a replacement. That man is Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who seems willing to make the move to the Emirates Stadium.
According to the Daily Mail, the player has told some of his Wolves team-mates that would jump at the chance of a move to Arsenal.
In fact, Neves has “indicated his willingness to join the north Londoners”.
Wolves are also open to the sale of Neves with a £35m price tag on the head of the 24-year-old.
Goal claim talks have taken place about Neves, but he is not Arsenal’s only target.