Rumours: Arsenal close in on long-term Liverpool target Xhaka
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Rumours: Arsenal close in on long-term Liverpool target Xhaka

Granit Xhaka

Arsenal are now closing in on a deal for Borussia Monchengladbach’s highly rated midfielder Granit Xhaka who is also a top priority target for Liverpool, according to a report from Sky Sport News Germany.

The report claims that Arsene Wenger has already met with the Switzerland international’s father to discuss details about a potential summer move. The Gunners are ready to pay €43 million (£33.9m) for the 23-year-old, who has been one of the stars in Monchengladbach’s team in this campaign.

Liverpool is also heavily linked with the midfielder as Klopp is a big fan of the 23-year old from his time at Borussia Dortmund and is understood to be keen on bringing him to Anfield this summer.

Granit Xhaka emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s most talented midfielders since he arrived at Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012.

Regarded as of the jewels of Swiss football since his teenage years, Xhaka’s idol was Zinedine Zidane but former national team boss Ottmar Hitzfeld prefers to compare him to a “young Schweinsteiger” instead.

Xhaka is intelligent in possession, composed on the ball, and always keeps things ticking over for his club with an 85 per cent pass completion percentage this term, second best on the team.

He consistently ranks in the top 30 Bundesliga players for tackles and interceptions per match. However this combative style has landed him in disciplinary trouble too, with Xhaka leading the league in fouls per game (2.8), and red cards (3).

But his all-action approach is one many Arsenal supporters think they lack in central midfield. When they beat Bayern Munich in December, in the words of Xhaka, Gladbach “were the first ones to play three at the back and one vs one all over the pitch, forcing Bayern to play long balls.”

He is not a regular scorer, just three this season so far, but when he scores they are stunners. Xhaka has won Gladbach’s Goal of the Year each of the past two years, first for his free-kick against Villarreal in the Europa League in 2014, and last year for his derby winner against Cologne.

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