Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that he has convinced former captain Granit Xhaka to stay at the club, despite the Switzerland international looking likely to leave as a result of the fall out from his run-in with fans back in October.

The infamous incident against Crystal Palace, which saw Xhaka react badly when jeered by supporters as he walked off the pitch, led to an absence from the squad of several weeks and appeared to be paving the way for a January transfer to Hertha BSC.

Granit Xhaka

The gossip earlier this week was that Arsenal had raised their price tag for Xhaka to just over £25m, having previously been willing to let him go for around £21m. The logic behind that was to give the club more time to source a suitable replacement.

However, Arteta has now spoken out about Xhaka’s future and has explained that a conversation between the two has persuaded the player to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

“The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way,” Arteta is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too, because I thought he could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy playing under me in this football club.

Mikel Arteta

“I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.”

Xhaka has started six of Arsenal’s eight Premier League games since former boss Unai Emery was sacked at the end of November. He even drew particular praise for his performance against Manchester United on New Year’s Day, which gave Arteta his first win in charge.

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