AS Roma are pushing to sign Granit Xhaka this summer, though their valuation remains some way off Arsenal’s and they’d like the player himself to help out with that.
On Thursday morning, Francesco Porzio reported that Granit Xhaka will be the first target for Jose Mourinho and AS Roma this summer. It’s a work in progress, with no agreement between the clubs but Roma are supposed to have submitted a bid of €15m (£12.8m) plus bonuses.
The Di Marzio website claims Arsenal want €25m for Xhaka. Roma are working on securing an agreement with the player, but they’re hoping to sign him for under €20m, even including bonuses, as their bid reflects. That still leaves the two clubs pretty far apart and, as a result, Mourinho is said to want the help of the player to get his price down.
Di Marzio add that Mourinho is driving Roma’s interest, after facing him as an opponent many times in the Premier League.
Fabrizio Romano writes that Xhaka has a chance to leave this summer and Roma have opened talks with his agents. He adds that Bundesliga clubs are also in the race for the midfielder.
Personally, I don’t think selling Xhaka would be a huge mistake, given his age and the fact he has two years left on his contract.
But it would only make sense if Arsenal are planning to sign a deep midfielder with similarly impressive progressive-passing stats in his place.
Xhaka ranks in the top 8% of midfielders in Europe’s top-five leagues for progressive passes, and the top 20% for progressive carries. For all his faults, that’s something he consistently brings to Arsenal that they will undoubtedly miss without him.
My concern is that Arsenal will bring in someone like Yves Bissouma, who is great at winning the ball back, but average at progressing the play when he has it. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on Thomas Partey to fill that role in the team alone.
It’s certainly something for Arsenal to think about before they finalise a sale.