Arsenal: Arteta impressed by Xhaka's form
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Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho looks set for a busy summer after taking charge of AS Roma. The Portuguese coach will replace Paulo Fonseca this summer following his April departure from Tottenham.
Mourinho is likely to be handed a budget to get the club back into the Serie A title race in 2021/22 and is rumoured to be considering a list of Premier League transfer targets.
Among those on Mourinho’s rumoured hit list is Arsenal midfield star Granit Xhaka.
Swiss international Xhaka has endured a tough 12 months at the Emirates Stadium with his form dropping and relations with supporters continuing to show signs of strain.
Mikel Arteta has stuck by him as a key figure but Mourinho will be hoping to press the Spanish coach over a £25m deal.
With no European football at the club next season, Arteta’s own budget is likely to be slashed, and the removal of a divisive figure like Xhaka could boost squad morale.
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Mourinho is confident he can drag the best out of the former Borussia Monchengladbach man in Rone with Xhaka himself looking in need of a change of scenery.
Despite not hitting the anticipated heights at Arsenal during his five seasons in north London, the 28-year-old will leave an experienced hole in the side if he moves on.
Here at Express Sport we look at Arteta’s potential replacements if Mourinho gets his man.
Arsenal are rumoured to be one of a string of Premier League sides tracking Brighton lynchpin Bissouma this summer.
Liverpool and United are also monitoring the Malian international amid speculation Brighton may be forced to sell either him or Ben White ahead of the new season.
Arsenal have an edge in the race due to their longer-held interest in the £20million rated man but their rivals can offer Champions League football.
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Arsenal raided Monchengladbach for Xhaka in 2016 and they could return to source a new midfielder this summer to sign his Swiss teammate Zakaria.
Xhaka and Zakaria’s paths have been linked for years and it would be a neat twist of irony if he replaced him at the Emirates.
Arsenal have been linked with Zakaria since Unai Emery’s time in charge and with contract talks blocked heading into Euro 2020, Arteta could move in.
With less than 12 months left on his current deal, Monchengladbach will make one final push for an extension after the Euros, but if he rejects, they will be open to offers of around £20m.
Arteta opted to allow the England U21 international to join Newcastle on loan during the January transfer window and the move paid off massively for the Magpies.
Seven Premier League goals essentially secured their top-flight safety at the back end of the campaign but Willock has insisted he is determined to fight for his place back at Arsenal.
His performance for Newcastle will have given Arteta food for thought this summer, and if his slim budget needs to be spent elsewhere in the squad, Willock could be given his chance to shine in 2021/22.
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