Arsenal poised to confirm their first signing of the summer, with Granit Xhaka today due at the club’s London Colney training base for a medical following a breakthrough in negotiations with Borussia Monchengladbach on a £30 million deal.
Arsenal had initially bid close to £20 million for the Switzerland midfielder but, with Monchengladbach hoping to get more than £30 million, an agreement was eventually reached on a deal understood to be worth an initial £25 million but rising potentially to £30 million. Xhaka had a release clause in his contract for £23 million that would have become active next year.
Central midfield was always his priority following the departures of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky, with Xhaka having been identified as the number one target ahead of Leicester City’s N’golo Kante during the second half of last season.
Xhaka, who is 23, is keen on moving to the Premier League and personal terms on what would be a four or five year contract are likely to be a formality.
Xhaka was expected in London today and the deal should be completed over the weekend and formally announced at some stage next week.
Described in 2012 by Ottmar Hitzfeld as a “young Bastian Schweinsteiger”, Xhaka is a Switzerland international and, before his four seasons in Germany, also played previously for hometown club Basel.
Xhaka is a more defence-minded midfielder than Mohamed Elneny and would be competing either for Francis Coquelin’s place or could give Wenger the option of playing two holding midfielders for certain games.