Roma open talks with Arsenal over Granit Xhaka transfer

Tom Gott
Roma are interested in Granit Xhaka
Roma are interested in Granit Xhaka / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Roma have opened negotiations with Arsenal over a deal to make midfielder Granit Xhaka the first signing of the Jose Mourinho era.

Mourinho, who was given his marching orders by Tottenham in April, wasted little time in finding himself a new job, striking a deal with Roma in May which will see him replace Paulo Fonseca ahead of the new season.

He's not started the job just yet, but according to Gianluca Di Marzio, Mourinho is looking to get a head-start in the transfer market and has specifically requested the signing of Xhaka, who he has grown to admire during his time in England.

As 90min revealed earlier this month, Arsenal are open to the idea of using Xhaka to help fund their transfer business, and they have slapped an asking price of around £21.5m on the midfielder's head.

Roma have already made it clear that they are serious with their interest in Xhaka and negotiations are on over potentially reducing that fee. The Serie A side are keen to pay no more than £17m, so there is still work to be done.

Granit Xhaka
Mourinho has specifically requested Xhaka / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Talks are also ongoing with Xhaka to try and find an agreement over personal terms, but that is not expected to prove too problematic.

With Roma hesitating over the final transfer fee, Arsenal are continuing to shop Xhaka around and Fabrizio Romano notes that there is interest in the 28-year-old from the Bundesliga.

90min understands that Arsenal have explored the idea of using Xhaka to finance a deal for long-term target Denis Zakaria, who is expected to leave Xhaka's former side, Borussia Monchengladbach, this summer.

Denis Zakaria
Arsenal have explored swapping Xhaka for Zakaria / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Gladbach hold Xhaka in high regard and would be interested in bringing the Switzerland international back to the club, but as is always the case with player swaps, things can be a little more complicated.

Roma are clearly eager to force their way to the front of the queue and kick-start the Mourinho era by splashing out on Xhaka, who will be allowed to leave the Emirates this summer if the price is right.

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