Transfers

Granit Xhaka speaks out on impending AS Roma move

Robbie Copeland
Granit Xhaka is expected to join AS Roma this summer
Granit Xhaka is expected to join AS Roma this summer / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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Granit Xhaka has all but confirmed his intention to leave Arsenal this summer, suggesting he is very keen on a potential move to AS Roma.

Roma's interest in Xhaka has been near enough public knowledge ever since Jose Mourinho arrived at the helm. The Portuguese boss is a known fan of the midfielder, and was one of the few prominent figures in the UK to defend him after his relationship with the Gunners broke down in 2019.

The infamous incident where Xhaka ironically applauded Arsenal fans as he was booed off the pitch against Crystal Palace still rankles with many, and although he has recovered to play a prominent role under Mikel Arteta, he remains a divisive figure.

So it came as little surprise when it was first reported in May that Roma were keen, and that Xhaka wanted the move to Serie A.

The deal has edged closer ever since, and with Switzerland basing themselves in Rome for Euro 2020, Xhaka was never going to avoid questions from the Italian media for long. He spoke to the press ahead of their clash with France on Monday, and was almost instantly quizzed about a potential move to the Italian capital.

But those expecting a template deflection for a response were left shocked when he appeared to confirm his intention to leave Arsenal, and hinted that he would be happy living in Rome.

He said in his press conference: “Arsenal know what I want to do… it is very beautiful here [in Rome].”

Naturally his comment was made with a sense of humour behind it, and it is no huge surprise to hear that a deal is in the works. Fabrizio Romano recently reported that negotiations are at their 'final stages', but it still seems jarring to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

In any case, it seems unlikely the deal will be announced before Switzerland are out of Euro 2020. So Arsenal fans wanting to keep hold of him might have to hope for something special against the world champions in Bucharest.

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