Mikel Arteta has given the clearest indication yet that he wants Granit Xhaka to remain at the club despite reports that the midfielder is closing in on a move back to Germany.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Granit Xhaka =after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Daily Mail, 26 December 2019
Daily Mail, 26 December 2019

It has not been plain sailing for Granit Xhaka ever since Unai Emery made him club captain.

Following his strop and subsequent stripping of the captaincy, it has been widely reported Xhaka will leave when the transfer window opens in January.

But it seems that if Arteta gets his way, the 27-year-old, whom Miki wanted at Manchester City, will be staying.

“When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list,” Arteta said ahead of Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

“This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.

“He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded. But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship [with the supporters] is starting to come back a little bit. It is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him.

“I told him how much I like him and how important he is for the team. I am here to help him, I want him to feel we’re right behind him, not just myself but the whole club.”

Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2019
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2019

Xhaka, for his part, is supposed to have told teammates he’s leaving in January and is said to be closing in on a move to Hertha Berlin.

He reportedly already has an agreement over personal terms.

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