Despite recently signing a contract extension (Sky Sports), Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is reportedly wanted by Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
That’s according to a recent report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, who claims Xhaka, 29, remains a high priority transfer target for the Serie A side.
Although the Swiss midfielder continues to play a major role under manager Mikel Arteta, the 29-year-old’s future appears less than certain.
In light of their interest last year, Roma have not given up their pursuit of the 29-year-old and could try to lure him to Italy again this summer.
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It has been claimed that Mourinho is desperately seeking central reinforcements who display leadership qualities.
Although considered a good leader on the pitch, Xhaka’s history of captaining his club side is not a good one.
After being booed off the pitch by fans back in 2019, Xhaka, who threw a tantrum, was later stripped of the side’s armband by ex-manager Unai Emery (BBC Sport).
Discussing the situation more recently, Xhaka, who spoke to The Athletic, said: “At the moment Laca [Lacazette] is our captain and I am more than happy for him.
“He is a very important person for us on and off the pitch. He is a lovely boy. He has a lot of respect from other players and a lot of experience over the years.
“I believe you need a player like this. He is always here. He is never too late. A lot of discipline. He is a funny guy. He is very open and you can speak with him whenever you want. I believe at the moment he is the right person to be our captain.”
Whether or not Roma back their interest up with an official bid remains to be seen, however, despite previous controversies, fans will probably be hoping the Switerzland international decides to stay in London.
Arsenal is on the charge in the league and after starting the season poorly, have since gone on a decent run to find themselves fourth in the Premier League table – a large part of their form is owed to Xhaka, whose inclusion at the heart of his manager’s midfield has been imperative to the rest of the team performing well.
Xhaka joined Arsenal in 2016 following a £40.5m move from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.
Since his arrival at the Emirates, the industrious defensive midfielder has gone on to feature in 232 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 34 goals, along the way.