The Granit Xhaka-to-Arsenal steam engine had been moving along quite well and quickly down the tracks the past few weeks, with an agreement seemingly all but assured by most observers. But this being Arsenal, nothing can ever be smooth, compact, and tidy. And now suddenly, the move appears on the verge of a derailment.
German newspaper Bild is reporting today that Arsenal launched its first official bid for the Borussia Monchengladbach captain, and it was so low that it's made a few people reconsider just how serious the Gunners are in obtaining Xhaka:
(translated) In the listing that Borussia present, Arsenal has only around 25 million euros for the Swiss national team - Borussia softens only at about 40 Mio. Eberl clarifies:
"There is an offer, but that does not mean that we let it go granite. we must not talk seriously about the sum of the tender."
Xhaka has a €30 million release clause that kicks in next summer. It's no wonder that Gladbach manager Max Eberl laughs off talk about Arsenal's bid. Gladbach can net €5 million more this time next season and have him around for Champions League this fall.
I don't think this is egregious enough to have the move called off, but the early signs on what Arsenal either value Xhaka at, or are willing to pay to get him, aren't encouraging.