Could Xhaka end up staying at Arsenal after all?

Martin Macdonald
Granit Xhaka: I am proud Roma boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign me from Arsenal

It seemed inevitable this summer that Granit Xhaka would leave Arsenal after hinting at a move to Roma for a number of weeks.

Xhaka remains a first-team player at Arsenal but has never been too far away from criticism at the Emirates, and would be open to a move away.

Ahead of the European Championship, the 28-year-old was heavily linked with Roma, with new head coach Jose Mourinho allegedly keen to bring him to the Italian capital to bolster his midfield.

However, he has suddenly become more of a wanted man following his performances for Switzerland at the tournament.

Xhaka was been excellent, and was particularly impressive in his nation's stunning victory against France on penalties.

He had 102 touches of the ball and completed 80/87 attempted passes, while it was his fabulous through-pass that led to Mario Gavranovic's spectacular equaliser in injury time.

Juventus were subsequently linked with a transfer for Xhaka during the tournament as an alternative to Manuel Locatelli should they fail to sign the Italian from Sassuolo.

It seemed almost inevitable that Xhaka would eventually move to Roma as he even commented on the transfer rumours outright recently when he admitted to learning Italian.

"Not yet… It is always interesting to learn a new language," he said when asked if he could do post-match interviews in Italian.

"Let’s see, everyone knows what Roma represent. Now, I am an Arsenal player, I will speak after the tournament."

Xhaka to stay at Arsenal?

For Juventus, it appears they are now putting all their stock into Locatelli, and even if they fail to get him, they could turn their attentions to Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic.

Mourinho wants Xhaka at Roma, but like most other clubs in Europe the Italian giants are feeling the financial impact of the pandemic, meaning that they need to be careful with how they spend on transfers.

Arsenal want £20 million to sell Xhaka, a price Roma as not willing to meet as they look at other targets as well as other positions that need addressing.

In a turn of events, the Athletic is reporting that the Gunners could actually offer Xhaka a new deal in order to extend his stay at the Emirates.

Ultimately, Arsenal believe that retaining Xhaka on a new deal will be less expensive that trying to sign a starting midfield replacement.

The North London side are still looking for a number 10, a centre-forward and a right-back, so Xhaka sticking around would eliminate the need for another central midfielder, with Albert Sambi Lokonga having been signed already from Anderlecht.