Report: 'Massive' Arsenal player set to leave, Gunners bracing for near £20m loss
Arsenal are closing in on the sale of midfielder Granit Xhaka to Roma, according to Corriere dello Sport.
The 28-year-old joined the Gunners in 2016 from Borussia Monchengladbach for £35million.
He has made 220 appearances for the north Londoners, including 45 last season.
However, it looks as though Xhaka will become Jose Mourinho’s first signing in the Italian capital.
Corriere dello Sport claims the deal is almost done and could be sealed in the coming days.
Arsenal reportedly rejected Roma’s first offer of 15m euro (£13m).
However, the Gunners accepted an 18m euro bid (£15.5m) which includes bonuses, claimed the outlet.
Arteta has always rated Xhaka, a player who works hard for the red and white shirt.
When the Swiss returned from his red-card suspension against Burnley last year, he was impressive.
“I think since he’s been back he’s been phenomenal,” Arteta told The Guardian in January. “He’s playing really, really well.”
And Paul Merson wrote on Sky Sports: “I would rather have him on the pitch than not at Arsenal.
“He’s a massive trier and he cares but it’s just about getting the right characters there and making the right decisions.”
However, Xhaka has reportedly been looking to leave the Emirates Stadium for a while now.
Xhaka was seemingly close to sealing a move to Hertha Berlin about 18 months ago.
More recently, Sky Germany reported that he was eyeing a return to the Bundesliga.
Arsenal are doing the right thing – TBR View
Although Arteta loves Xhaka, question marks remain over whether he’s the kind of player who can take Arsenal forward.
He’s a solid player but if the Gunners want to challenge for the title and cups regularly, they need more quality throughout the team.
And given Xhaka is reportedly keen on moving away, this potential move works for all parties.
Admittedly Arsenal are taking a big hit on his transfer fee – nearly £20m – but they will be getting £100,000-a-week off their wage bill.
Last season promised so much for the Gunners but delivered so little, and there’s a lot of work to be done by the hierarchy.
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