Granit Xhaka’s proposed move to Roma has reportedly hit a stumbling block as the Italian club are refusing to match Arsenal’s valuation of the player.
The 28-year-old has been linked with the Serie A outfit ever since Jose Mourinho moved into the Stadio Olimpico hotseat. The Portuguese tactician is a known admirer of the midfield enforcer and recently said of the Swiss.
“Granit Xhaka is the main man in the entire Arsenal midfield, you can’t see it unless I lend you one of my eyes,” he said. “Without him, Arsenal is lost.
The Switzerland international has been at the Emirates for five seasons after joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in May 2016. He still has two years left of his deal to run but has been strongly linked with a move away this summer.
Calciomercato.com claimed he will move to the Eternal City for €15m plus €2.5m in bonuses. The Gunners initially wanted €20m but it appeared as though negotiations had yielded a deal.
But La Stampa, via TMW, are suggesting ‘everything has stopped’ because Roma have yet to agree to Arsenal’s asking price.
Xhaka has made it clear just how eager he is to move to Rome.
He told reporters at Euro 2020: “Arsenal know what I want to do… it is very beautiful here (in Rome). Football is a team sport and you’re only as good as your team.”
Mixed emotions hang over Xhaka exit
The former Basel schemer has polarised opinion since he arrived in north London. Often barracked by the fans, he also has plenty of admirers at the club due to his efforts on the pitch.
In a clash with Crystal Palace in October 2019, he was booed by the Emirates faithful after being substituted. His angry reaction promoted then manager Unai Emery to strip him of the captaincy and an exit seemed likely.
But he responded well after Mikel Arteta’s arrival and appeared to win over the fans. Although most things point to a summer exit, Xhaka may still have a future at Arsenal.
The Premier League outfit are refusing to budge over the finances involved in any transfer. And that could mean he has nowhere to go and is forced to begin the season in red and white.
But after pushing to leave, the returning supporters might not be so charitable this time around.