Leverkusen agree Xhaka deal | Rice, Timber set for medicals


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Bayer Leverkusen have agreed a deal to sign Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.

The fee that will take the midfielder from north London to the Bundesliga is worth €25m.

Xhaka – who made 297 appearances across seven seasons for the Gunners – had entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and turns 31 in September.

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Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth provides an update on the players staying at Arsenal, and those who could be leaving

A formal announcement is expected in the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News has been told Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber will have their Arsenal medicals over the next 72 hours after deals were agreed with West Ham United and Ajax.

Personal terms for both players have been agreed in principle and both could be Arsenal players by the start of next week.

It would take Arsenal’s spending in this window beyond £200m – further proof of the backing manager Mikel Arteta is receiving from Edu and the board.

Analysis: How Xhaka adapted and why he leaves on a high

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Sky Sports’ Nick Wright and Ron Walker take a deeper look into why Declan Rice became Mikel Arteta and Arsenal’s No 1 target

Given how he has divided opinion at Arsenal, it is probably fitting that there are contradictory sides to Granit Xhaka’s departure. At 30, entering the final year of his contract, it is undoubtedly the right time. And yet it is also true that he will be missed.

Few could have predicted that a player jeered by his own fans and stripped of the captaincy three and a half years ago would one day leave on a high. It felt implausible as recently as January of last year, when he was pilloried for a red card against Liverpool.

That dismissal at Anfield, for a last-man foul on Diogo Jota, was his fifth as an Arsenal player and taken as proof that he could never truly change his ways. But, on an emotional afternoon at the Emirates Stadium for the final game of last season against Wolves, fans who previously doubted him could be heard singing his name…

Explained: How Arsenal can afford big-money summer signings

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Football finance expert Kieran Maguire says that Arsenal’s seemingly enhanced willingness to spend is a ‘reward’ for Mikel Arteta

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire says Arsenal’s seemingly enhanced willingness to spend is a ‘reward’ for Mikel Arteta.

“Arsenal are actually in a very strong position when it comes to spending,” he told Sky Sports News. The reason for that is they have managed to get their wages under control.

“Arsenal’s wages are lower than they were in 2018. They are £150m to a £170m less than Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. That has given them the flexibility to go into the market and buy new players without having to worry too much.

“Plus, they have got the additional benefits of Champions League matches coming in, premium prices and the minimum I would say prize money of £50m from being participants.

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Following the announcement that he has joined Arsenal from Chelsea in a £65m deal, Kai Havertz says it ‘feels super exciting’ to join the north London side

“So, you factor that all together and they’ve probably still got a bit of leeway in terms of what they can spend over this present window.”

When asked if there’s been a strategy change at Arsenal, he added: “Yes. They had a retrenchment. They went through some fallow years when they weren’t qualifying for the Champions League.

“They have managed to get rid of high earners, the likes of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off that payroll, and that has given them the ability to now go into the market and be very competitive and try to match other clubs.

“Arsenal used to be known as the Bank of England club. They’ve always been well run financially, and I think this change in terms of spending is a reward for Mikel Arteta in terms of his ability to get them into those Champions League places again, which means so much in terms of enhanced revenue.”

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 14 and closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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