By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Arsenal have stepped up their bid to sign midfield sensation Granit Xhaka in a £65million deal, Football Insider sources understand.
The Gunners are willing to pay £34million for the central midfielder as well as hand him a five-year, £120,000-a-week contract.
An Arsenal recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Gunners are in talks with Xhaka’s club Borussia Mochengladbach over a summer deal.
Swiss sensation Xhaka, 23, is on the target list of some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich also among his admirers.
But Arsenal are in pole position to land the central midfielder as they target a proven player who can dominate in the middle of the park.
The Gunners signed Mohamed Elneny from Basel in January and are now keen on another former player of the Swiss club.
Basel academy graduate Xhaka moved to Borussia Mochengladbach in 2012 for £6.75million and has developed into one of the Bundesliga’s outstanding midfielders.
He is a mainstay of the Mochengladbach side, making 35 appearances for the team this season.
The German club’s sporting director Max Eberl confirmed that they would struggle to keep hold of him this summer.
“We will fight for Granit,” Eberl told Kicker. “There are clubs that can offer an even bigger chance of playing Champions League and competing for titles and trophies.”
Arsenal, who will wave goodbye to veteran trio Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky when their contracts expire at the end of the season, are prepared to spend big money to clinch a deal for Xhaka.
The Londoners are ready to make the Switzerland international one of their best-paid players and, including transfer fee and wages, the deal could be worth an eye-watering £65million.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer this week for one of their star names.