Arsenal star Granit Xhaka opens door to joining Jose Mourinho’s Roma

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 29: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal before the UEFA Europa League Semi-final First Leg match between Villareal CF and Arsenal at Estadio de la Ceramica on April 29, 2021 in Villarreal, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Granit Xhaka is keen on joining Roma (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) Photographer: Stuart MacFarlane Provider: Arsenal FC via Getty Images Source: Arsenal FC

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka admits he’s flattered by talk of interest from Roma manager Jose Mourinho.

The former Tottenham and Manchester United boss is said to be keen on making Xhaka his first signing in the Italian capital.

Xhaka joined Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 for a fee of around £34m but he’s had a tumultuous period at the Emirates.

The Switzerland international was keen on leaving the club at the start of Mikel Arteta’s tenure but he was reintegrated into the side after telling supporters to ‘f**k off’ as he departed the field during a draw against Crystal Palace in 2019.

Xhaka, though, is clearly open to leaving the Emirates and he’s talked up a potential move to Mourinho’s Roma.

Mourinho is keen on signing Xhaka. (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Of course I read the rumours too,‘ Xhaka told Blick.

‘But now I’m one hundred percent focused on the national team. That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now.

‘I still have a two-year contract in London. And at Arsenal they know what they got in me. When the time comes and we can, may or have to talk about a transfer, I’ll be here.”

‘Honestly: I didn’t hear what Mourinho said. But that makes you proud. Everyone knows Mourinho, knows what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles. You can now see what work I have done over the past few years.’

With Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid and Martin Odegaard likely to follow him, Arsenal look short in midfield.

Arteta values Xhaka’s leadership and David Luiz’s departure has put even more value on the Swiss’ role without the dressing room.

Reports in Italy earlier this weekend claimed Roma had a bid of around £11m rejected for Xhaka, with Arsenal valuing him at closer to £20m.

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