According to German tabloid Bild and German outlet RP Online, Arsenal could be in for 23-year-old Swiss central midfielder Granit Xhaka from German side Borussia Mönchengladbach. Reportedly, Arsene Wenger and another individual working on behalf of Arsenal have already met with the player's agent, Andy Gross, and his father, Ragip Xhaka.
Although the fee is being reported in the neighborhood of £33.7 million, Bild has an uncharacteristically thorough breakdown of the total outlay required to obtain Xhaka: in addition to the fee, the player would get a sign-on fee of close to £4 million and around £6.3 million in wages while his agent would receive £1.8 million.
I'm not an expert, but I do know our own writer bozz has long pined for him to join Arsenal, so I asked bozz to weigh in. Here's his scouting report:
Xhaka has got everything you need to play at a club like Arsenal. He's a tackle and interception machine with an unbelievable work rate. He's an excellent passer who will only get better as he ages. His long-ball skills are already on point and he's excellent in the air. He reminds me of a younger version of Xabi Alonso. All that said, he's hotheaded, picking up a ton of cards and has had a problem with getting sent off.
In all, though, he's my dream signing in central midfield - but I suspect this is likely just public relations talk to get the pressure off of Wenger.
It's hard to deny that the pressure is on Wenger, with some reports emerging that the board is encouraging him to go full Spendy McWarchester this summer. Is this too good to be true? Probably, but we'll keep an eye on it. Watch this space.