Borussia Monchengladbach star midfielder Granit Xhaka has been high on the wish list of many clubs around Europe this season, with Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal among those most interested in signing the Swiss international.
United led the early charge for the 23-year-old’s signature but in recent weeks it has been Arsenal who have moved into pole position and with each passing day it has appeared more and more likely that Xhaka is destined for London.
Now it has been reported (via the Independent) that the Bundesliga star is in north London today to complete the final touches on a contract that will see him move to the Emirates next season. Xhaka must still undergo, and pass, a medical at the Gunners’ London Colney training ground before agreeing personal terms.
In recent days there had been some concerns that Borussia Monchengladbach’s £30 million valuation of their star was threatening the transfer as Arsenal were only willing to pay £20 million. It now appears that a happy medium has been found following an overnight breakthrough.
Xhaka has been Arsene Wenger’s top target this summer and to close the deal before the European Championships will be well received by fans.
Having spent the last four seasons with the Bundesliga side, the Swiss international has already amassed 40 caps for his country and brings a wealth of experience to an Arsenal team that is in dire need of strengthening in order to finally mount a season-long challenge for the Premier League title.
As Wenger looks to lead Arsenal into a 21st campaign in charge, a strong season is essential for the Frenchman as this campaign, more than any previously, he has faced public criticism from fans who have become increasingly frustrated with the side’s almost annual spring capitulation.
With the acquisition of Xhaka perhaps Wenger can finally see his side through to the middle of May next year with a league title still within reaching distance.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena