Granit Xhaka tipped to join Arsenal in €45m deal by Bild

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Arsenal fans are still reeling from Arsene Wenger's decision to keep his money in his pocket for much of the last summer transfer window, but the Frenchman looks set to make up for it in the near future.

Indeed, Arsenal's failure to dominate the Premier League has been put in large part down to Wenger, who became the only manager across Europe's top five leagues to not sign an outfield player last summer.

Petr Cech was the only arrival followed by the unknown Mohammed Elneny in January, but by the time the Egyptian arrived from FC Basel, it was too late for the Gunners to revive their title bid.


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Now, according to Bild, Wenger is preparing to do what he should have done and spend his big money at the end of the season. This time last year, fans were expecting Morgan Schneiderlin to join from Southampton, but he is now enjoying life at Manchester United, so Wenger has moved onto Borussia Monchengladbach's rising star Granit Xhaka.

Of course, Arsenal have perennially been linked with big moves in the recent past – most notably with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema – only for nothing to happen. However, the German newspaper believe Xhaka's prospective move to north London is as good as done and Arsenal will pay €43million (£35m) to get it over the line.

Big money

It is, of course, a huge amount of money for a club like Arsenal to fork out. They do have that kind of money to spend, but the fee would make him the club's joint-second most expensive signing ever alongside Alexis Sanchez, who cost the same amount to sign from Barcelona in 2014.

But Sanchez was already enjoying a global reputation by the time Arsenal came calling. Xhaka, on the other hand, has only just emerged as a European star and £35m is certainly at the higher end of what Wenger would consider good value.

Slick player

There is, however, no denying that the 23-year-old has the potential to become an exceptional player. At 6ft 1in, Xhaka has the filled-out frame that would flourish in Premier League football and the range of passing to slot into Arsenal's slick style of play.

In that sense, he cuts a more polished figure than Elneny, who has impressed during the early days of his Arsenal career with his combination of combative play and deft technique.


Xhaka himself has recently hinted that he would not say no to a move to the Premier League.

In February, Xhaka said: "Everybody has a dream. Everybody has a childhood dream and that's mine [to play in the Premier League]. If it comes true, it remains to be seen. At the moment, I cannot say how realistic it is."

Theo Walcott
Transfer News
Premier League
Arsene Wenger

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