NEWS Arsenal has reached a £32m ‘agreement’ to ultimately find a suitable replacement for Granit Xhaka…

Arsenal’s midfield has felt the absence of Granit Xhaka this season, but there might be a chance to address this issue in the upcoming summer transfer window

In the previous summer, Arsenal let go of Xhaka for a fee of £21.4 million and made the decision not to bring in a direct replacement for him. However, with a potential £32 million agreement in place, the Gunners could finally find a suitable successor for Xhaka.

Arsenal opted to sell Granit Xhaka to Bayer Leverkusen last summer for a fee of £21.4 million, without seeking a direct replacement. Instead, they made the decision to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea for a substantial £65 million.

Havertz, originally a false 9 forward, has predominantly featured in Mikel Arteta’s midfield, making 29 appearances for the Gunners so far.

This tactical “experiment” involves Havertz seamlessly integrating into the attacking line, leaving Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice as the two holding midfielders.

 

The results of this approach have been mixed. On the offensive front, Arsenal have become more potent and threatening. However, concerns have arisen regarding their defensive solidity, as they seem to lack the resilience that Xhaka previously provided.

 

There has been a growing call for Edu Gaspar, the sporting director, to explore the possibility of bringing in another central midfielder who possesses similar qualities to Xhaka. While the focus of the January transfer window has been on securing a centre-forward, the upcoming summer transfer window appears to be the next viable opportunity to address this need.

 

Interestingly, Arsenal may have a renewed interest in Bruno Guimaraes from Newcastle United. The Brazilian midfielder was previously on the Gunners’ radar before he made his move to Tyneside in 2022. However, due to a change in Newcastle’s financial situation, there is a possibility that Guimaraes could become available for transfer.

 

Newcastle recently announced a significant loss of £73.4 million in their latest financial results, raising concerns about their compliance with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. As a result, there is a genuine worry that one of their key players, including Guimaraes, might be sold to alleviate these financial concerns.

 

According to a report by AS, it has been revealed that the 26-year-old player has agreed to a release clause in his contract valued at €115 million (£98m). This amount is said to be payable in three instalments of €38 million (£32m). Additionally, the article mentions that Newcastle’s board has chosen this player as one of the individuals who will assist them in “settling accounts”.

 

At the end of the season, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Chelsea are all expected to make aggressive moves. Although Arsenal has not been linked yet, it would be logical for them to pursue the Brazilian international.

 

Considering Newcastle’s financial situation, they may not be able to demand an exorbitant fee. Furthermore, Arsenal would benefit from acquiring a player who already has experience in the Premier League.

 

This aligns with Arsenal’s strategy of signing players from their league rivals, as seen with Gabriel Jesus, David Raya, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Declan Rice.

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