Newcastle linked with January move for ex-Arsenal captain Xhaka

Ross Houston
November 8, 2019

However, his involvement in an angry confrontation with the fans during Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, meant he could not be the captain anymore.

While Arsenal have struggled to convince on the field, Emery's mishandling of the captaincy situation which saw him forced to demote Granit Xhaka last week has reportedly caused divisions in the dressing room.

A return to the Bundesliga is seen as the most likely destination for the midfielder, who joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, and the club hope that they will receive a fee near to the £30m they paid for Xhaka.

The report claims that the midfielder is concerned that he could jeopardise his chances of playing in next year's European Championship, should Switzerland qualify, if he loses his place at the London club.

But would Arsenal give up on him in the middle of the season for only €40m? Magpies boss Steve Bruce is said to be a "big admirer" of Xhaka and the club could pursue a deal, even if it is only a short-term loan until the end of the season.

Xhaka's £130,000-a-week salary is now out of Newcastle's reach, but the club are claimed to be prepared to stretch themselves.

Arsenal face a major fight to hold onto their Gabonese striker with Barcelona monitoring the player ahead of the transfer window reopening in January as they seek a replacement for Luis Suarez. The player himself, meanwhile, would benefit from regular Premier League football in the run up to the Euros. "He was the top scorer past year in the league and I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100% but we will support him".

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