Developments overnight have moved the transfer of Granit Xhaka to Arsenal to the verge of completion.
Though Arsenal’s initial offer to Borussia Mönchengladbach (beleived to be in the region of €24m) was well short of the German side’s €40-45m valuation, a breakthrough in negotiations has propelled the deal forward massively, as per a report in today’s Independent.
In fact, so close are all parties to an agreement, that the report states that Xhaka has flown in to London to finalise personal terms with the Premier League runners-up.
Both Arsenal and Xhaka were keen to get the deal done before the 23 year old departs for international duty with Switzerland in the European Championships, but the initial low-ball offer by the English club looked to have thrown a spanner in the works.
However, that eagerness seems to have won out, as the talks are apparently at a stage where the player is free to discuss terms. It remains to be seen which side caved in the end, but the more likely scenario is that a suitable compromise was found.
Xhaka is heading to London in order to finalise his move, according to close friend and journalist Artan Muhaxhiri pic.twitter.com/CRNAUxSB0P
— #TIMEFORCHANGE (@goonerszone) May 20, 2016
With the signing of Xhaka, Arsene Wenger will bring a sense of mental and physical aggression that has been sorely lacking from the Arsenal midfield for some time. In a side that has been dogged by their own fragility, the former Basel general is capable of controlling the midfield and will be an important part of the spine of the team going forward.
The sense of excitement among Arsenal fans about their prospective new signing is already starting to build…
Xhaka has the ability to rustle this entire fanbase with a simple tweet if he wanted to
— Sparsh (@Playmxker) May 20, 2016
Arsenal fans should be very excited about Granit Xhaka. The aggressive midfield beast the club has long needed. Just 23 – 100+ BuLi apps.
— Jonathan Harding (@JonBloggs66) May 20, 2016
Xhaka to Arsenal is pretty naughty ??
— Michael Yare (@Topomanyare) May 20, 2016
— AR16 (@Arafa88) May 20, 2016
Well, almost all of them…
Buzzing to find out what chronic injury problem Xhaka will develop at Arsenal.
— George (@Arseclan) May 20, 2016
With the departures of Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomáš Rosický recently, adding to the midfield was of the utmost importance to Wenger this summer. With Xhaka seemingly nailed down, however, attention can switch to other areas of the team that need strengthening.
Barring any late complications, the deal should be confirmed early next week.