Arsenal have set an asking price of €20m on AS Roma transfer target Granit Xhaka, after I Giallorossi made a €13m bid for the Switzerland international.
The 28-year-old will be allowed to leave north London for the right price in the summer and is new Roma boss Jose Mourinho’s top priority for the upcoming transfer window. The Italian giants have already tested the water with an opening bid, but they saw their advances knocked back.
According to La Gazzetta however, the two clubs are not too far from striking a deal. Arsenal have set a €20m price tag on former captain Xhaka, a figure which is €7m higher than Roma’s original bid.
Roma’s new owners are keen to satisfy new coach Mourinho in the summer transfer window, and they are likely to launch another assault for the Swiss star. Xhaka is very much a classic Mourinho midfielder and would add plenty of steel to the Giallorossi’s spine.
The Arsenal man’s days at the Emirates Stadium appear to be numbered, with the club looking to offload a number of high earners and trim their squad for the coming season. The former Borussia Monchengladbach star has been a lightning rod for criticism in recent years and could welcome a move away from north London.
Xhaka has spoken out over the rumours linking him with a move to Italy and while he stressed that he has two years remaining on his current deal, he admitted to feeling ‘proud’ over Mourinho’s kind words.
“Of course, I read the rumours too. But now I’m one hundred per cent focused on the national team. That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now,” he told Blick.
“I have another two years contract in London. And at Arsenal, they know what they got in me. When the time comes and if we can, we’ll talk about a transfer.
“Honestly, I haven’t heard what Mourinho said. But that makes you proud.
“Everyone knows Mourinho and what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles. You can now see the work I have done over the past few years.”
Roma may also be prepared to offer one of their own stars in the form of a player exchange deal to convince the Gunners, with former Arsenal target Amadou Diawara and winger Cengiz Under both seen as possible departures from Stadio Olimpico.
Diawara has attracted interest from the Gunners before, but Roma were reluctant to sell the former Napoli midfielder. He might not be such an important figure in Mourinho’s future plans though, and could be used as a makeweight to bring Xhaka to the Italian capital.