Arsenal have reportedly placed Granit Xhaka’s exit from the club on hold until a replacement for the midfielder has been found.
As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Switzerland international is set to leave the Emirates this summer and join Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen. His existing contract with the north London side runs until next year.
However, according to German outlet Kicker (via Football.London), the Gunners have now suspended the midfielder’s move temporarily until they can find reinforcements.
They have been linked with the likes of Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo, and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan. West Ham United’s Declan Rice is also on top of their transfer priority list.
Xhaka, meanwhile, was in stellar form for Mikel Arteta’s side this season. The Switzerland international registered 37 Premier League appearances, scoring seven goals and seven assists.
He also scored twice in seven UEFA Europa League fixtures for the north London outfit this season.
The midfielder played a huge role in an Arsenal team that was dominant for the majority of the 2022-23 campaign. They largely maintained their position as the Premier League leaders before a poor run in April saw them lose the title race to Manchester City.
The north London outfit finished second in the league table this season after leading the table for 248 days, winning 84 points from 38 fixtures.
“I can see him fitting into Xhaka’s role perfectly” – Bacary Sagna urges Arsenal to sign Premier League superstar
Gunners icon Bacary Sagna has urged his former club to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice this summer. The Frenchman believes the England international would be the perfect replacement for Xhaka.
Sagna told Lord Ping:
“I think Declan Rice would improve under Mikel Arteta, definitely. We saw Xhaka perform in a slightly different role for Arsenal this season, where he had an impact in the offensive part of the field. I think that is where Arsenal would be looking to use Rice if they signed him – I can see him fitting into Xhaka’s role perfectly.”
“I think he would play with more freedom at Arsenal than he currently enjoys at West Ham. He will find himself in situations where he will have the opportunity to add more goals to his game because he will be receiving better service at Arsenal and he will be playing with better players who will be able to find him like [Martin] Odegaard.”
Sagna’s advice would allow the Gunners to offload Xhaka this summer if the aforementioned reports were accurate.
Rice, 24, has made 144 senior appearances for West Ham and has also contributed 15 goals and 13 assists.