Arsenal are expecting former captain Granit Xhaka to ask to leave the Emirates Stadium this January and Newcastle United could offer him an exit route.
According to the Times, the Gunners believe the Swiss international will want a winter move, amid fears that he could jeopardise his chances of playing in next summer’s European Championship if he isn’t playing club football.
Xhaka has not played Arsenal’s last two matches since the incident which saw him stripped of the Gunners captaincy – his reaction to being booed off against Crystal Palace last month.
And the report says that if Xhaka carries on being frozen out, he is expected to seek a transfer when the window opens.
And the report says that Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is a major fan and is ready to offer Xhaka a lifeline, keen to add his experience and legs to his engine room.
Xhaka earns a reported £130,000-a-week, which is £50,000-a-week more than Newcastle’s current top earner Miguel Almiron, but Bruce is apparently open to a short-term deal to suit all concerned.
TBR’s View – Xhaka needs a short-term fix to make it to Euro 2020, but Newcastle may not provide light relief
What Xhaka really needs is a comfortable return to the Bundesliga, even on loan, to get himself away from the glare of the Premier League and prepare serenely to captain his country in next summer’s tournament.
Going to Newcastle, where there is enough unrest already, isn’t going to provide Xhaka with much relief from his current stresses.
But if Bruce is the only manager who makes a concrete offer – or makes the first serious move – then the midfielder may have a big decision to make.