Mikel Arteta has confirmed an Arsenal star who has persistently split opinion will be given an increased salary in a remarkable U-Turn.
The department that appeared set for the greatest upheaval in the Arsenal squad this summer was the midfield. Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard saw their temporary stays end, though Odegaard could yet return as Arsenal search for playmaking reinforcements.
Matteo Guendouzi has already left on loan, while Joe Willock and Lucas Torreira could both follow. But perhaps the man who looked the most destined to leave this window was Swiss international, Granit Xhaka.
Jose Mourinho’s Roma were reported to have agreed personal terms with the 28-year-old as far back as mid-June. The sticking point holding up the deal, however, was the discrepancy between Arsenal’s valuation and Roma’s offer.
Arsenal were understood to be seeking a fee of around £20m for the man who was previously stripped of the club’s captaincy.
Roma were reportedly considering a final, make-or-break bid, but Arteta has remarkably revealed the prospective deal is now off.
Instead, Xhaka will be offered a new four-year deal to keep him at the Emirates until age 32. That’s according to trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano, who added Xhaka will see his wages ‘increased’ as a result.
Speaking to talkSPORT (via Romano), Arteta said: “Granit Xhaka is going to stay with us. He is a key member of our squad.”
Romano revealed Arsenal declined a Roma bid of €12m plus €3m in add-ons. Whether that bid was launched recently or some time ago is unclear.
However, what is clear is that Xhaka will now be in Arsenal’s midfield for the long haul.
Rejected bid lifts Arsenal, Tottenham fog
Meanwhile, Inter Milan have rejected an offer from Atletico Madrid for Arsenal and Tottenham target Lautaro Martinez, according to reports in Italy.
Arsenal have ambitiously been trying to sign him recently despite their lack of European football. His thoughts on the move are unclear, with some sources saying he would be more keen on it than others are indicating.
Even so, a move to the Emirates would not be a formality due to his high price and rival competition. Indeed, recent claims named fellow north London side Tottenham as another admirer of the Copa America winner.
The 23-year-old would rather join one of La Liga’s three biggest clubs – Barcelona, Atletico or Real Madrid – and one of them has now made a move.
According to Tuttosport, Inter have turned down a €50m bid from Atletico for Martinez. In the process, his other suitors have learned how much he may cost.
Despite – or perhaps because of – their urgent need to raise funds, Inter want almost double Atletico’s offer. Their valuation of Martinez is around the €90m mark.
Aware that such a fee may be unrealistic, the Nerazzurri could begrudgingly accept somewhere between €70m and €80m. Either price would still make him their most expensive sale of all time, surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s €69.5m move to Barcelona in 2009.