Granit Xhaka is likely to sign a new four-year contract with Arsenal, ending speculation over his future for the time being.
Xhaka has always divided the Gunners’ faithful but he featured in all but seven of his side’s Premier League games last season. Despite this, he was widely expected to depart the Emirates Stadium during the current transfer window with Roma heavily linked with a move.
However, after the Serie A side refused to meet their asking price, Arsenal decided to open contract talks with their former captain. As reported by James Benge, those negotiations are progressing with Xhaka likely to pen fresh terms until 2025 and receive a small wage increase.
The news is a blow for Roma boss Jose Mourinho, who will now be forced to reassess as he looks to strengthen his midfield.
It is likely that Xhaka will spend the majority of the campaign partnering Thomas Partey, although the latter will miss the start of the season. Partey picked up an ankle injury during a pre-season meeting with Chelsea recently and will be absent for Arsenal’s Premier League curtain-raiser against Brentford next Friday.
With Partey out either Mohamed Elneny or new arrival Albert Sambi Lokonga will likely partner Xhaka in that game.
Arsenal have been active in the transfer market so far, making moves for Ben White and Nuno Tavares, as well as Sambi Lokonga. Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen further with Leicester City’s James Maddison his top target.
Arsenal want to add creativity and Maddison fits the bill. The only issue is Leicester’s asking price of more than £70m. If that deal is not possible they could go back in for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard, who spent the second half of last season on loan in north London.