Granit Xhaka has made a decision on his Arsenal future having been made a priority transfer target by new Roma manager Jose Mourinho.
The Switzerland international came close to leaving Arsenal 18 months ago after he lost the captaincy following a spectacular bust-up with his own fans during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.
Xhaka was persuaded to remain by Unai Emery’s successor, Mikel Arteta, and played a pivotal role in last year’s FA Cup triumph and was arguably one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers during the season just gone.
Mourinho, meanwhile, has been a long-term admirer of Xhaka’s and has singled out the 28-year-old for praise in the past.
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 back in 2019. ‘Without him, Arsenal is lost. He is a leader. Remember, mistakes are made by humans.’
According to football.london, Xhaka is understood to be keen on the idea of seeking a fresh challenge and working with Mourinho, a manager he is said to have huge admiration for, while he is hopeful of having his future sorted before the start of Euro 2020.
Although Arteta still holds Xhaka in high regard, Arsenal want to raise around £60million through player sales this summer to help finance a squad overhaul of their own and hope to recoup around a third of that sum by selling the former Borussia Monchengladbach captain.
The Gunners are also looking to offload relics of the Emery era, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, both of whom spent last season out on loan at Atletico Madrid and Hertha Berlin, respectively.
Arsenal are keeping tabs on Norwich playmaker Emi Buendia and could tempt the newly promoted Canaries with a player plus cash offer for their prize asset, while they also hold a long-standing interest in Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.