Original source: Bild
Published by: Metro, Mirror, Sky Sports, Daily Mirror
Also interested: Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool
Contract until: 2019
According to the German media outlet Bild, Arsenal will beat Liverpool and Chelsea to signing of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s highly-coveted midfielder Granit Xhaka this summer. Xhaka is viewed as one of the most promising holding midfielders in European football and a move to the Emirates Stadium would represent quite a coup for Arsene Wenger. The France tactician has identified the defensive midfield role as one of his summer priorities and Xhaka, having watched him extensively and he prepares to sign him for £35million. The German giants Bayern Munch have confirmed they were scouted the Swiss international, but no bid were materialized and seems that the 23-year-old will continue the career at Emirates.
- The Gunners are still in title race, while the Merseyside club are struggling this season – most probably won’t play in the Champions League next season.
- At the Emirates, there are several players with fitness problems (Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Thomas Rosicky) and several under-fire midfielders (Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta) that play in Xhaka’s position, so he would a great chance of starting in Wenger’s team.
- Xhaka is very much a player suited for the Gunners’ style. His quick decision making, creativity and accurate short-passes would fit well at the club. Of players to attempt 50+ dribbles in the last 2 Bundesliga seasons, via WhoScored, Xhaka has the best success rate (83.8%).
- Speaking to Sport1.de in Germany, Xhaka, who was once dubbed the ‘young Bastian Schweinsteiger’ by former Bayern Munich head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, did little to quash speculation that he could move to the Premier League. ‘Everybody has a childhood dream, and for me it is England,’ the midfielder said.
- In a revealing interview with torabrik.de, Xhaka hinted that he would be interest in a move to the Emirates, if Arsene Wenger came calling. The 23-year-old was asked about the importance of wearing the No.34 jersey – it was his first number as Basel, and he has a tattoo on his back – and what would happen if the number was already taken. “I would also like to wear it in the future. It was also here in Gladbach, with Amin Younes. And at Arsenal Coquelin has it. I’ve spoken with him, he would like to take another number!” – he admitted.
Considering these facts, Gib Football Show concludes that the rumours claiming ‘Arsenal Set to Beat Liverpool to £35m Signing of Thirty Times Scouted Star’ are ‘mostly true’.