As Arsenal look to rebuild a title winning side, it seems that Arsene Wenger has finally made a formal approach for a long-term target.
Arsenal’s title chasing ambitions finally ended at the weekend following the 3-3 draw with Champions League chasing West Ham United. Already out of the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League, the 2015/16 season will be a barren one for Wenger.
Following yet another spring time collapse in form for the Gunners, Wenger has been a man under pressure and while talks of his future have abated in recent weeks, he certainly needs to do something to shore up his side’s weakness in defence.
Now, with nothing left to aim for this season, save defending their Champions League position for next year, talks of summer transfers and signings is all that fans have to hold on to.
For the last month or so there have been reports of Wenger’s desire to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka and reports this morning in the Mirror suggest a formal offer has been made for the 23-year-old.
When queried last week about the Switzerland international at the West Ham pre-match press conference, Wenger could not help breaking out in to a smile. This led many to believe that a deal was as good as done, if not so already.
It is reported by the aforementioned tabloid that the London side have tabled a £24 million offer for Xhaka, who has emerged as Wenger’s number one midfield target. With the likes of Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta set to leave this summer, Wenger is in dire need for a key playmaker in the middle of the field.
With 40 caps for his country and over 200 appearances for various clubs, he has a wealth of experience for a 23-year-old. This combination of experience and youth would see him become a key figure in the future development of an Arsenal side desperate to rebuild itself into a Premier League-winning outfit.
While Monchengladbach appear to be holding out for £32 million for their star midfielder, Arsenal are understood to be confident of sealing a deal with the German side.
With so many reports in the public domain about Wenger’s desire to sign the Swiss midfielder, to fail now would seriously dent the already shaken confidence fans have in the manager. For Wenger’s sake, he best get his man.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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