Granit Xhaka has reportedly agreed to join AS Roma on a five year contract in what will be Arsenal’s first piece of transfer business this summer.
It has been reported by football.london that the deal is expected to be completed imminently after the midfielder had extensive talks with the Italian side and new manager Jose Mourinho.
Although the fee for the transfer is not known it is believed to be around €20m (£17m).
Roma had an initial bid of €13m rejected by the Gunners with Arsenal valuing their former captain much higher.
The Swiss international leaves Arsenal after five tumultuous years with the club in which he made 222 appearances.
Jose Mourinho has previously spoken of his admiration of Xhaka and it’s believed that the former Spurs boss is a big reason for the player wanting to make the switch.
Xhaka has been a pivotal player in Mikel Arteta’s midfield and leaves a gap for the north London club to fill amid rumours of a move for Portugal and Wolves star Ruben Neves.
Any potential replacement for Xhaka would have big boots to fill with the former Borussia Mönchengladbach player a mainstay in the Arsenal team under all three of his managers at the club.
Arteta has previously praised Xhaka’s attitude and is known to be a big fan of the player despite sanctioning the imminent sale.
The Arsenal boss spoke about his ‘non-negotiable’ philosophy and how Xhaka was the ‘perfect example’ of it.
He said: “If you have to put an example on that pitch about character and about going for every single goal with that determination, then probably it’s him”
Despite the important role that Xhaka played for Arsenal many fans will be happy to see his exit after he had previously been outspoken about their treatment of him after a run of poor performances in 2019.
The sale of Xhaka signals a big change at the Emirates as Arteta tries to improve on what was a disappointing season by shaping the team to compete for Champions League football again.
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