Arsenal's reported chase of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka moved into top gear on Wednesday afternoon when a number of reliable reports claimed they had launched a €50million bid.
Xhaka has a €25m release clause in his contract, but it does not become active until the end of next season and Arsene Wenger is unwilling to wait. He has shown plenty of initiative by making what is surely a big enough offer to tempt the Bundesliga club.
The Arsenal boss has openly admitted that the 23-year-old Swiss is one of his transfer targets in the past and is reportedly keen to get the deal over the line before he leaves for Euro 2016.
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German journalist Raphael Honigstein claimed Arsenal's deal will be worth €50m with some of that fee made up of performance-related bonuses.
Fellow journalists John Cross and James Olley have since made similar claims for their respected newspapers even though the former appears annoyed that the club he supports has not opted for Leicester City's N'Golo Kante.
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He wrote on Twitter:
But the person all fans want to hear from is Xhaka himself. The towering midfielder has been open about his desire to move to the Premier League in the past and has paid reference to the fact that he would be ready to fight Francis Coquelin for the No.34 shirt.
He was quick to respond to the reports of this new and improved offer from the Gunners, saying that he was unaware of the situation but admitted he could be about to play his final game for Monchengladbach.
"I would like to know before the European Championship, where I play next year," he told RP Online.
"I do not know if there is an offer. I've had four beautiful years at Monchengladbach and owe the club a lot. If it is true what the media write, we sit down together and decide."
On playing SV Darmstadt this weekend, Xhaka closed: "It may be that it is my last game, but while I'm here, I will concentrate fully on Borussia."
Where does he fit?
As a left-footed player with an eye for a tackle, Xhaka actually cuts a similar figure to that of Jack Wilshere, but his physical frame should allow the England international the chance to move into more advanced positions while the Swiss sits deeper.
However, there are only two midfield positions up for grabs and Xhaka will have to compete with Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin and Wilshere for game time. While it seems likely that at least one of those will be injured at any one time, it is still difficult to fit them all into the squad.
Does that mean someone is leaving? Quite possibly. Cazorla is, of course, into his early 30s and is always attracting interest from La Liga while Wilshere and Ramsey could generate huge sums in the transfer market.
Wenger is spending huge money on the player and may have to move someone significant on to make sure he gets the best out of him.
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