Arsenal to let Granit Xhaka LEAVE this summer to join Mikel Arteta's close friend, in shock swap deal: report
Arsenal star Granit Xhaka is set to quit the club, after receiving an appealing offer from the Bundesliga.
That's according to one report which says that manager Mikel Arteta is ready to let his midfield general leave this summer, having turned his Emirates Stadium career around upon his arrival. Xhaka has spoken out about how pivotal the manager was to keeping him in north London, stating that were it not for the Basque, he'd have left under a cloud.
"When Mikel was appointed in December, I told him that I wanted to leave," Xhaka told the Player's Tribune. "But then Mikel began to talk about how I was a big part of his plans. I liked his warmth. He was honest, straight. Clear plans. I felt I could trust him. He told me to give him six months to prove me wrong, and then if I still wanted to leave, no problem."
Now, however, The Sun says that Xhaka wants to quit this summer – as Bayer Leverkusen can offer him a chance to extend his career.
Leverkusen can even offer the Gunners Moussa Diaby in return, according to the report. Le10Sport linked Diaby with a move to north London weeks ago – while a report from the outlet three years ago first mentioned Arsenal's interest in the winger.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Arteta will sanction a move for Xhaka is because he is looking for a new midfielder – but equally, he is close with the Leverkusen manager, Xabi Alonso, which could make negotiations easier.
The former Liverpool midfielder is taking his first steps into senior coaching in the Bundesliga and has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal's setup under Arteta. The pair have been friends ever since childhood but never got to play together at a club, as Alonso was sold weeks before Arteta joined Real Sociedad.
Arsenal signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016. The Swiss midfielder has since appeared in over 220 Premier League matches for the club.
Xhaka is valued at €28 million by Transfermarkt.
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