Mikel Arteta wants to make Adrien Rabiot his first signing for Arsenal when the transfer window opens next week, according to reports.
A few days ago French outlet Foot Mercato claimed Arsenal are considering a move for the 24-year-old midfielder as Granit Xhaka looks to move on.
“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.
That will leave Arteta looking for a replacement for the Switzerland international, despite revealing he wants to keep the player.
Arteta confirmed he has spoken to Xhaka about his future: “I told him how much I like him, what I expect from him and how important he is for the team.
“I am here to help him, I want him to feel that we are right behind him. Not just myself but the whole club. If we can get the fans on his side I think it will be helpful for the team, which is where it matters.”
Xhaka though seems intent on leaving and Arteta is keen on Rabiot, with The Times now claiming Arsenal hope to persuade Juventus to let Rabiot leave on loan.
Per the source, Juventus claim that they want Rabiot to stay at the club and are more willing to offload Emre Can, the former Liverpool midfielder, than allow Rabiot to leave.
The France international has played just 12 times, including just seven starts, since joining on a free from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and has really struggled to establish himself under Maurizio Sarri.
The report says that Arteta will pursue Rabiot regardless of whether Xhaka moves on, but his need for a central midfielder will obviously be greater if Xhaka departs for the Bundesliga.