Arsenal are not in talks with Bayer Leverkusen for the transfer of Granit Xhaka, but Xhaka staying in North London won’t affect the pursuit of Youri Tielemans.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND: Arsenal player Granit Xhaka (r) in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on May 16, 2022. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND: Arsenal player Granit Xhaka (r) in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on May 16, 2022. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, a couple of reports in the English media claimed Granit Xhaka had emerged as a transfer target for Bayer Leverkusen as Arsenal stepped up their interest in Youri Tielemans.

Fabrizio Romano reports that this is not the case, with no talks ongoing between the Bundesliga club and Arsenal for Xhaka.

But Romano adds that this won’t affect Arsenal’s plan to sign a new midfielder this summer, and Tielemans remains at the top of the list.

Last month, the same reporter told Caught Offside that Xhaka remains on Jose Mourinho’s shortlist at AS Roma, and he hadn’t spoken to Arsenal about his future at the time.

But with Nemanja Matic closing in on a move to Rome, a deal for Xhaka looks less likely.

Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (L) speaks to Everton's English midfielder Dele Alli during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (L) speaks to Everton’s English midfielder Dele Alli during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

With Bayer Leverkusen also seemingly ruled out of the race, it appears increasingly probable Xhaka will instead remain with Arsenal.

You’d think that would be the best outcome for Mikel Arteta. The Arsenal boss had a hard enough time filling the midfield for every game this season, without European football.

The Gunners need to bolster their midfield options, not let them dwindle further.

Adding someone like Tielemans and keeping existing options like Xhaka and Thomas Partey around will put the team in a much better position for next season.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.