Newcastle are being linked with a January move for under-fire Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland international is facing an uncertain future at the club after being stripped of the captaincy following his angry reaction towards the home support during last month’s draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
The 27-year-old has proved a divisive figure at the club and has come under fierce criticism for his performances so far this season, receiving jeers from the Arsenal supporters who have been left frustrated by his below-par displays.
Xhaka’s difficult relationship with the Gunners faithful came to a head during last month’s draw with Roy Hodgson’s side, the midfielder cupping his ear to the crowd and mouthing ‘f*** off’ as he was substituted, before removing his shirt and heading down the tunnel.
Granit Xhaka gets booed off by Arsenal fans, tells them to boo louder, tells them to f*ck off and throws his shirt on the floor 😳
— GiveMeSport Football (@GMS__Football) October 28, 2019
Xhaka’s actions have seen him left out of the squad for recent fixtures, whilst he has also been removed as club captain and replaced by forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It has now been suggested that the former Borussia Monchengladbach player could opt to leave the club in the January transfer window, with Newcastle reportedly ready to make a move.
According to the Times, Steve Bruce is keen to bolster his midfield options ahead of the winter window and has been alerted by the possible availability of an established international.
Xhaka is also keen to ensure he is not frozen out at Arsenal, amid fears he may lose his place in the Switzerland side ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has so far been evasive when asked about Xhaka’s future at the club, though there is an acceptance that it will be difficult for the midfielder to salvage his reputation.
Xhaka joined the club in a £34m deal three seasons ago and has four years to run on his current £100,000-a-week deal, the report saying Arsenal are hopeful of receiving an offer that reflects their investment in the player.