Arsenal are confident of getting close to their asking price from Roma for Granit Xhaka and they have their eye on a replacement.
New Roma boss Jose Mourinho has earmarked Swiss star Xhaka as his first signing for the Serie A club. And talks between the two sides are ongoing with an exit for the 28-year-old likely as Mikel Arteta reshapes his midfield.
Goal report that a source has told them there is a “willingness on all sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible”. Talks are said to be positive with Arsenal hoping to get around £20m for the player.
Roma are said to be keen on a deal closer to £15m after seeing a reported first bid of around £11.2m rejected.
There is hope from both sides that a deal can be agreed. And Arteta is happy to let their former captain leave.
Xhaka is also keen on a new challenge if last week’s remarks are anything to go by. Working with Mourinho looks appealing to him.
Speaking to Blick (via Goal) he said: “Honestly, I didn’t hear what Mourinho said, but that makes you proud.
“Everyone knows Mourinho and what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win trophies.
“You can now see what work I have done over the past few years.”
“Of course I read the rumours too. But now I’m one hundred per cent focused on the national team,” he said.
“That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now.
“I have another two years on my contract in London and at Arsenal, they know what they have in me. When the time comes and we can, may or must talk about a transfer, I’ll be here.”
Arsenal talking to Neves
Arteta is already hunting for a replacement and Goal support claims over the weekend that the Gunners are looking towards Ruben Neves.
Wolves are willing to listen to offers for Neves, Pedro Neto and Adama Traore. They are all “to be marketed to leading European clubs”. Wolves are instead looking to develop overseas talent with lower transfer fees.
That was the verdict from The Times with Arsenal said to be working on a deal for Portugal international Neves this summer.
Goal also claim talks have taken place about Neves, but he is not Arsenal’s only target. And his £35m price tag could be a potential stumbling block.
Neves remains under contract until 2023, and Arsenal will push for a deal once Xhaka’s move has gone through. All parties are hoping Xhaka’s deal can go through before Switzerland start their Euro 2020 bid against Wales on Saturday.