According to reports, if Arsenal decides to let Granit Xhaka leave during the current transfer window, they may demand a higher fee from Bayer Leverkusen. It has been widely anticipated that the Switzerland international will end his time with the North London club and make a £13m move to Xabi Alonso‘s side.
Xhaka’s potential return to the Bundesliga was said to be on hold until Arsenal secured a replacement, but the recent signing of Kai Havertz for £65m seemed to open the door for Xhaka’s departure. However, the 30-year-old midfielder remains under contract with Arsenal until the end of the following season.
Interestingly, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta downplayed reports suggesting that Xhaka had agreed to leave before the end of the season. When questioned by fans after their final-day victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Xhaka himself remained vague about his future. Nonetheless, he hinted on social media that the match against Wolves would be his last for the Gunners, as the club plans to revamp their midfield ahead of the upcoming season.
While it is expected that Xhaka’s transfer to Leverkusen will go ahead, The Mirror suggests that Arsenal might increase their asking price from £13m to potentially £20m. It is reported that Leverkusen and Xhaka have agreed to a four-year contract, leading Arsenal to believe that a higher fee is justified.
Whether Arsenal will maintain their valuation is uncertain, as Arteta is keen on offloading several unwanted players this summer. Nevertheless, he remains a staunch supporter of Xhaka, who experienced a turbulent period in his Arsenal career.
In 2019, Xhaka reacted angrily to jeers from the home crowd during a match against Crystal Palace, which resulted in him losing the captaincy. However, Arteta managed to convince Xhaka to stay when he arrived as manager in 2020, and the midfielder has since experienced a surprising resurgence.
During the 2022-23 season, Xhaka impressed with nine goals and seven assists in 47 appearances across all competitions, including seven goals in the Premier League. This helped Arsenal secure a second-place finish. In what could potentially be his final game for the club, Xhaka scored twice in a resounding 5-0 victory over Wolves, taking his overall tally for Arsenal to 23 goals and 29 assists in 297 matches.
Xhaka has also won two FA Cups and two Community Shield titles with Arsenal. The club is also reportedly close to finalizing a £105m deal to acquire West Ham United’s Declan Rice. In addition to Xhaka, other players like Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga could also be leaving, with Partey attracting interest from Juventus and clubs in Saudi Arabia, while Lokonga has been linked to a potential move to Burnley.