Arsenal have been heavily linked with Granit Xhaka in the past few months and, if the reports are to be believed, then they are on the verge of finalising a deal to sign the midfielder.
With a top-four finish now confirmed the Gunners can begin working on their transfer targets and it seems the Borussia Monchengladbach man is their priority.
The Telegraph reported that Arsene Wenger had submitted a £30 million offer for the 23-year-old but the German club were holding out for closer to £40 million.
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But football expert Raphael Honigstein has just offered a huge update on the situation. The BT Sport and ESPN pundit has claimed that Wenger has offered the German club what they want for their star in an attempt to bring him to the Emirates.
“A change of tack from Wenger? After having earlier offer rebuffed, he’s come back to pay full whack for Xhaka. (€50m, including add-ons),” Honigstein tweeted.
Honigstein is certainly right in stating that it’s a “change of tack” from Wenger. The Frenchman didn’t sign a single outfield player during last summer’s transfer window and €50m (£39m) would represent the most he’s ever spent on a player.
Immediately after his original tweet, Honigstein said: "Gladbach are trying to get a replacement signed before announcing the deal.”
While it may seem like a huge amount, Xhaka is exactly the type of player Arsenal need. He operates in a defensive role and would rival Francis Coquelin for a place in the starting XI.
With Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini all leaving the north London club at the end of the season, Arsenal’s midfield could definitely do with a couple of signings over the coming months.
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla have struggled during the entire campaign but will be hoping to have an injury-free season next term.
Wenger has already realised the lack of midfield options earlier this campaign with the January signing of Mohamed Elneny, who has impressed since arriving from Basel for £5 million.
But Xhaka arrives with a bigger reputation than Elneny did, and certainly a higher value.
Xhaka has previously been described as a “young Bastian Schweinsteiger” by former Switzerland manager Ottar Hitzfeld and is regarded very highly in both his native country and in Germany.
With Wenger entering his final year of his contract at Arsenal, he is expected to leave at the end of next season. If he does, he will want to go out on a high by winning the Premier League. To do so, he will need to spend big this summer and it appears he isn’t hanging around in splashing the cash with the imminent arrival of Xhaka.
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