Arteta confirms Xhaka will remain at Arsenal despite Roma links

James Holland
Granit Xhaka Arsenal F365

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Granit Xhaka will not be leaving the Emirates this summer.

The midfielder is thought to be a top target for Jose Mourinho at Roma.

Reports in June suggested Xhaka had agreed personal terms with the Italian side, but it now looks like the 28-year-old will be competing in the Premier League again this season.

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Xhaka scored Arsenal’s only goal in their 2-1 friendly defeat to Chelsea earlier on Sunday.

Speaking about the Swiss international after the game, Arteta said: “Granit is going to stay with us. He is a key member of our squad.”

Xhaka has been a divisive figure at times and was even booed off by his own fans in October 2019.

But he remains a vital part of Arteta’s plans. He also showed his class at this summer’s European Championship.

The enforcer put in a brilliant display against world champions France in the round of 16 as Switzerland went through on penalties.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side were eventually knocked out by Spain in the quarters.

Arteta’s comments will be music to the ears of Arsenal legend Ian Wright, who claimed last month that there’s ‘no way’ the Gunners should consider selling Xhaka.

Following the victory over France, Wright said: “That is the best I’ve ever seen him [Xhaka] play.

“I feel for him because he’s someone I’ve been very critical of in the past and when you see a performance like, do you blame him or the coaches for not getting those performances out of him in the past?

“I have never seen him used to that effect. There’s no way Arsenal should be selling a player that can play like that, at that level.

“So unfortunately for us it looks like he is going but I’m delighted for him because he’s answered a lot of critics. He was magnificent.”

It’s believed Roma opened transfer negotiations on May 29 with a bid worth €13million. That was rejected by Arsenal as they value Xhaka at €20m.

The two clubs were then engaged in talks to meet somewhere in the middle, before a deal came to a halt earlier this week.

Arsenal now look set to offer Xhaka a contract extension. His current deal is worth £100,000 a week and runs until 2023.