Arsenal have opened contract negotiations with Granit Xhaka after the midfielder’s proposed move to Roma hit the buffers.
The Switzerland international looked to be on the verge of joining Jose Mourinho in Rome earlier this summer, though I Giallorossi’s refusal to meet the Gunners’ £20m valuation has seen a switch fail to materialise.
Xhaka has just two years remaining on his current deal at the Emirates, meaning Mikel Arteta could be forced to sell the midfielder on the cheap next summer in a bid to avoid losing him for free 12 months later.
Naturally desperate to avoid such a scenario (again), the Evening Standard report that the Gunners have now opened talks with Xhaka over a new deal.
Despite their quest to offload the 28-year-old so far proving unsuccessful, Arteta is still desperate to bolster his midfield options ahead of the new season.
The north London club have spent the majority of the summer pursuing a deal for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli. Arsenal are understood to have tabled a €40m (£34.3m) bid for the Italy international, but his desire to play Champions League football means fellow admirers Juventus remain frontrunners in the race for his signature.
Locatelli isn’t the only midfielder on Arsenal’s wish list this summer, with Lyon’s Houssem Aouar also understood to be of interest, and the Frenchman’s teammate Bruno Guimaraes can now also be added to that list.
Arsenal technical director Edu knows Guimaraes from his time as the general coordinator of the Brazilian national team and has pinpointed the youngster as a potential new arrival.
However, Guimaraes is currently away on international duty with Brazil at the Olympics and is refusing to speculate over his future until he returns to club duty.
Elsewhere, the Gunners are continuing to pursue a move for Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, though their reluctance to meet the Blues’ £40m valuation has seen talks reach an impasse.
Chelsea are looking to offload the England striker as they try to generate transfer funds ahead of a move for Erling Haaland.