Football

Arsenal set for dramatic U-turn over top star after asking price not matched


Arsenal could hand a surprise second chance to a top star who liked certain to join Serie A giants Roma this summer.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka was expected to head to Italy this summer and link up with former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in Rome. Indeed, reports emerged that the deal was already done before the start of Euro 2020, where Xhaka excelled with Switzerland.

But a report in The Athletic claims that it looks increasingly likely that the 28-year-old will stay at the Emirates after no bids matching the Gunners’ valuation were received from Roma, or any other club. Indeed, the report adds that Arsenal are now preparing a new contract for the divisive star.

Xhaka, who has two years left on his current contract, was outstanding as the Swiss reached the last eight of the Euros.

But despite the arrival of young talent Albert Sambi Lokonga, it looks like Xhaka still has a place in Arsenal’s midfield.

The Gunners stalwart will now hope to form a strong partnership with Thomas Partey in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.

Even though Xhaka looks like he is staying put, Arsenal continue to be linked with midfield talent.

Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli has been a target for many weeks, although Liverpool have also joined the race. Lyon star Bruno Guimaraes is also highly thought of by Arsenal transfer chiefs.

But with Xhaka potentially staying, it could allow Mikel Arteta to look at strengthening other areas of his team.

Xhaka is expected back at training this week following an extended break for his exertions this summer.


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Arsenal target states transfer preference

Meanwhile, the fog surrounding an ambitious potential Arsenal transfer has quickly dispersed after the Inter Milan hitman’s preference over his next move surfaced, according to a report.

Arsenal are in the midst of one of their most important summers in recent memory. With their disappointing eighth-placed finish clearly in mind, Mikel Arteta has been given license to revamp his entire squad.

Signings have already been made in midfield and at full-back, while Ben White’s £50m move at centre-back appears a formality.

A new goalkeeper is expected to arrive and could challenge Bernd Leno for the starting role. Aaron Ramsdale has been the subject of failed bids, though ex-Gunner and current Ajax chief Marc Overmars hinted the Dutch side’s “top five” keeper could be a better option for a knock-down fee.

New striker could be Arsenal need

Finally, an addition in the forward line could be made with French veteran Alexandre Lacazette reportedly up for sale. Indeed, Arsenal are believed to have slashed their asking price for the striker, prompting renewed interest from Atletico Madrid.

Should he depart, a new face will be required. And a sensational report recently put Arsenal in the mix for Lautaro Martinez.

The Argentine, 23, helped fire Inter to the Serie A title last year, though the Italian Champions are under a financial cloud. Achraf Hakimi was sold to PSG to help balance the books and his exit may not be the last.

The Telegraph reported Arsenal chief Edu had asked about signing the forward who is valued around the £77m mark. They insisted the approach was a sign Arsenal mean business this window. Though the latest from the Daily Mail has quickly shut down the potential move.

Citing a well-placed Italian journalist, the Mail reveal Martinez would indeed be open to changing clubs this summer. However, he would only be willing to do so if it were for a Spanish heavyweight.

READ MORE: Disastrous forward among six Arsenal could cull to fund transfer splash

 





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