Granit Xhaka’s agent has confirmed that the midfielder wants to leave Arsenal to join Hertha Berlin, after an agreement between the player and the Bundesliga club was reached.
Rumours of his departure have been circulating for the last couple of weeks, stemming from the incident against Crystal Palace which saw the Swiss international stripped of the captaincy after his reaction to a substitution.
Xhaka was unhappy about the way his response was framed by Unai Emery, and furious that it was suggested he would be offered counselling for what were perceived as mental health issues following the furore.
In truth, he was simply furious and unwilling to apologise for his behaviour after being barracked by fans for his reluctance to get off the pitch quickly.
It has also been suggested he hasn’t taken kindly to Mikel Arteta’s public declarations of faith in him, because the new head coach said he could go in the summer.
That seems a reasonable thing for Arteta to have done – particularly when it’s tough to find experience and quality in the winter market – but speaking to Swiss publication BLICK, Jose Noguera made it clear Xhaka wants out when the window opens in January.
“Look, I will say it frankly and honestly: we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,” he said.
“That’s what we said Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.”
At this point, if anyone wants out and isn’t committed to the cause, we should let them go. Xhaka is obviously unhappy, there’s little chance of reconciliation and every chance things could flare up again.
So if Hertha are willing to pay the kind of fee that might help us fund another purchase, let’s just do it.