Bayer Leverkusen are in talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, sources have told ESPN.
The 30-year-old has a year remaining on his current contract and although the Gunners have an option to extend by a further year, sources say the club are yet to trigger the clause.
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That has created uncertainty in the midfielder’s mind over his future and Leverkusen have looked to capitalise by approaching the Gunners with an offer believed to be in the region of €15 million.
A deal is not yet finalised but Xhaka is ready to leave if Arsenal are not willing to offer him a new, longer-term contract.
The Gunners are looking to overhaul their midfield this summer and have targeted West Ham’s Declan Rice, although the England international is likely to cost £100m or more.
Brighton’s Moises Caicedo is another option under consideration. It remains possible Arsenal could try to sign two central midfielders in a bid to close the gap on Manchester City, who look almost certain to win their fifth title in six seasons after the Gunners were beaten 3-0 at home by Brighton on Sunday.
Xhaka’s exit would create space in the squad for potential new arrivals but it would mark a surprising end to his renaissance at the club, having been stripped of the captaincy under Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery only to re-establish himself as a key part of Arsenal’s leadership group this season.
The Switzerland international has seven goals and seven assists from 45 appearances across all competitions this term and earlier this month Arteta said of Xhaka: “I’m extremely happy with Granit, I think he is having an incredible season, probably the best season he has had at the club and we are really happy to have him.”
However, the club have taken the view that they will not offer Xhaka fresh terms and sources have told ESPN that in that scenario, he would rather move on to the next phase of his career than see out the final year of his contract in north London.