Arsenal will target the Bundesliga when they look to sell Granit Xhaka in January after the midfielder indicated he no longer sees a future in north London. Xhaka was stripped of the club captaincy this week following a furious tirade against his own supporters as he was being substituted against Crystal Palace. Arsenal have come to the realisation that Xhaka no longer has a long-term future at the club now an already fragile relationship with fans has hit rock bottom. Likewise, it is understood the Switzerland international has intimated to the club that he would now prefer to leave the Emirates Stadium after the recent furore.
Sources claim the midfielder believes there is no way back after the flashpoint which ended in Xhaka, who has recently become a father, telling fans to ‘f*** off’ after they booed him. Work has already begun towards trying to find a buyer for the midfielder with Arsenal hopeful they will get a significant return for the £30 million buy from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016. Despite struggling to fully adapt to English football since his arrival, Xhaka’s stock remains high in Germany where he was viewed as one of the Bundesliga’s leading central midfielders during his stay with Monchengladbach.
Arsenal believe they can capitalise on that untarnished reputation. But there are concerns at Arsenal that clubs will try to take advantage of Xhaka’s predicament with low bids. Indeed, preserving Xhaka’s value is likely to prove a difficult balancing act for the club, particularly if he doesn’t play regularly ahead of the transfer window. Arsenal chiefs felt Xhaka should have stepped down as captain soon after the incident but until Tuesday — 10 days later — he remained skipper. Xhaka delayed responding to his outburst towards fans, not breaking his silence until last Thursday despite calls from the club and manager Unai Emery to apologise.
The club’s patience eventually wore thin at the start of this week with Xhaka finally relieved of captaincy duties, paving the way for his exit. Meanwhile, Arsenal are interested in Manchester United youth recruitment duo Dave Harrison and Lyndon Tomlinson. Sportsmail revealed this week how the club had started a restructuring of their youth scouting set-up with head of youth recruitment Steve Morrow the biggest casualty.
Arsenal want Manchester City’s head of youth recruitment Joe Shields to play a lead role in their new set-up but they are also admire highly-rated United duo Harrison and Tomlinson.