ARSENAL are preparing to make Granit Xhaka their first major summer signing and are ready to turn their attention to securing a gun striker.
The Swiss midfielder is close to finalising a move to the Emirates from Borussia Monchengladbach though a fee has yet to be negotiated for the 23-year-old, with the Bundesliga club wanting £30million and Arsenal offering £20m.
But Monchengladbach expect the player to move and a compromise will be found, though the transfer announcement may be delayed until July 1 when the German summer transfer window opens.
The Daily Mail reports: “Xhaka’s arrival will increase pressure on Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey to secure a first-team spot, with Xhaka likely to play alongside Santi Cazorla, with Mesut Ozil at No.10.
“The Swiss midfielder has parents of Albanian descent but he was born in Basle, for whom he played before joining Monchengladbach.”
However, Arsenal have dropped out of the race for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is expected to join either Real Madrid or Manchester United for £70m.
The Gunners have already ruled out a move for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, with boss Arsene Wenger having rejected the chance to sign him three years ago, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a non-starter because of his age and wage demands.
We wonder if the penny will ever drop for Wenger. Arsenal already have plenty of quality in midfield – once again it’s been the lack of a world-class genuine goalscorer that has cost them the Premier League crown.
Such players do not come cheap and if the Gunners are to end a title drought that stretches back to 2003-04 Wenger will have to bite the bullet and sanction the signing of a forward of the quality of Aubameyang, Higuain or Ibrahimovic.