Monday, June 17, 2024

Report: Xhaka deal held up by Arsenal’s search for replacement

According to Kicker, Granit Xhaka’s move to Bayer Leverkusen is on hold until Arsenal secure the signing of a replacement.

The Gunners are believed to be willing to part ways with the Switzerland international this summer and have been linked with a raft of players to fill the void.

West Ham captain Declan Rice is at the top of the list with Moises Caicedo and Ilkay Gundogan also of interest.

ESPN claim Arsenal are waiting for Rice to play the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday before lodging an official bid in the region of £90 million. Bayern Munich are monitoring the situation.

It remains to be seen whether the Hammers are willing to do business although the Gunners are confident of getting their man. Competition for Caicedo and Gundogan looks stiff with Chelsea and Barcelona in the mix for the Ecuadorian and German respectively.

Xhaka was given a raucous send-off by supporters at Emirates Stadium after netting twice on the season’s final day.

While Mikel Arteta refused to confirm rumours of a switch it’s widely reported that the midfielder has agreed a four-year contract with Leverkusen who will pay the Gunners £13 million for the 30-year-old.

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Im waiting for the usual shennanigans. Arsenal bid 90, West Ham say they want 150 (who can blame them). Arsenal back off, City/Chelsea swoop in and offer north of 100 and add another expensive player to their bloated squads. Football transfers are so fucked.

Johnny 4 Hats

We have players desperate to join our club.

Rice, Caicedo and Mudryk have all pretty much publicly declared their love for us.

We have to start signing these players. We have to go toe-to-toe with the big boys.

Yes, the system is fucked. Yes, we are punching above our weight.

But we have to find a way to secure these sorts of players.

Otherwise it’s Eden Hazard / Cristiano Ronaldo / Gonzalo Higuain all over again.

Get your cheque book out Stan. We need the big monies.

We need to stop being Arsenal and start being ruthless and decisive.


Well said J4H.

Ignore the downvotes – some people just can’t handle a few home truths.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well, the same people that bang on about “standards” also think we can somehow compete without the best players in the world.

Arteta is a great coach. But you can only work with what you have. And on a side note, he won’t stay long if he realises we can’t compete financially for the players he needs to make us world class.


Exactly. No one is proposing that we behave recklessly like Chelsea, just that as and when Arteta identifies the odd world class addition, we go all out to sign him. The club has the resources – but not the proactive mindset to back the manager with the right speed and efficiency and it’s bloody annoying. Just reading today that Chelsea are already using Brighton’s interest in Colhill as a potential swap deal involving Caicedo; Edu letting the grass grow under his feet yet again…… I get that the Rice deal can’t be stepped up until after West Ham’s Euro final… Read more »


What are you on? We came second to a billionaire’s illegal petting zoo, with a team of graduates, bargains, and resurrections (Xhaka, Ødegaard)… And you think doing a Chelsea is a good idea… I suppose we should bring in Mourinho too!?!


You ignorant fool. The world is full of billionaires and most of the planet still lives in poverty. Does that stop you from getting up every day and trying to earn as much money as you can to provide for yourself and those that you love? The world’s financial state is no more Arsenal’s responsibility than it is yours. We all KNOW that it’s fucked up! But, hey, if Arsenal pay £100m rather than £90m, in the grand scheme of an already obscene vulgar fucked up system, what is the difference..? Maybe, just maybe, we might get over the line… Read more »


* soap box

(Orange box?! 😂)


there is a sizeable distance between dropping big money on a very good player and “doing a Chelsea”. also maybe you could learn to disagree without accusing people of being on drugs and making false equivalences, you know it’s actually possible to make a point without being a twat about it.

Johnny 4 Hats

Exactly this.

In the past we’ve missed out on marquee signings because we squabbled over a few million.

I even remember a world class LB (who shall remain nameless) leaving because of 5k a week.

If we really, really, really want Declan then we have to find that extra £20m down the back of the settee and not quibble too much when this could be our guy for the next 5 years and bring us glory that we all so crave.


Spot on. 👍🍺


Yep, well said. 👍🍺


Pretending “our” billionaire is better than some else’s billionaire is pretty laughable. Professional football is a farce. Arsenal is a big part of that. Maybe a different shade of grey to $ity and Chel$ki. Turning to football for your moral compass is a mistake.

ALL billionaires are fucked! ALL. You don’t become a billionaire by being nice and caring. The problem is there should be zero billionaires in the world and all our problems stem from the fact that there are lots of them. Das Kapital.


I think it’s key to be able to say no. The market is ridiculous. And there are 4-5 clubs that will always have it in them to bid insanely. We saw that with Mudryk. If Rice goes over 100 mil £ I would look elsewhere and trust that we know how to identify talent. Arsenal have the best proposition in years. And players want us. If some of them are held back by greedy clubs taking advantage stupid rich clubs so be it. I trust we will be fine. That is why this news makes me happy. Selling Granit before… Read more »


Mikel has already identified the talent; Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo. Seriously, what exactly is going to hurt YOU if Arsenal pay the apparently ‘ridiculous’ fee of £100+m rather than (the apparently non ridiculous fee of) £90m……? I fail to see why this extra £20m-£30m is ruining so many of this fanbase’s lives? It’s not your money FFS and it could well mean the difference between us winning the title and having a good run in Europe! What’s not to like….?!! You hair shirt mob crack me up. We have this every single time this club attempts to sign a… Read more »


Fucking eh! If the world was a just place there wouldn’t be billionaires fucking it all up in the first place. Instead we have this shit sandwich they feed us everyday that of course we pay handsomely for too.

Get your cheque book out stan. The game is fucking broken and it ain’t getting fixed by Stan not spending $20-30M extra.


At the end of the day, I want to see Arsenal winning the Premiership title and the Champions League. Having Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo in the side will greatly improve our chances. The whole issue of football having too much money is something I noted, as I have stated elsewhere, in 1979 when Brian Clough (a staunch socialist, no less!) paid Birmingham City £1m for Trevor Francis to join Nottingham Forest. And guess what? Forest went and won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980. If it’s good enough for Cloughie to pay top dollar then it’s good enough… Read more »

karl g

Both tedious clubs with squads to big for the changing rooms.

I really don’t want their ageing castoffs either.


I don’t understand how Chelsea manage to comply with FFP and still spend all of this money. They should be skint at this point.


They gave all their signings 6-8 year contracts so they could defer the spending over that period and stay within the rules. Which was stupid really, given the rules apparently don’t matter at all. City broke all of them and nobody seems to care.

A Different George

I think the Chelsea ownership decided to use some of the manipulations that are common in American sports because of “salary caps” (which of course are caps on team payrolls, not on any particular player’s wages). These usually only make sense when a team wants to add (or keep) the one or two big players who they think will put them over the top. It often leads to serious problems later, but (1) there is never the threat of relegation and (2) reaching the various playoffs, where it effectively becomes a cup competition–not challenging for the “regular season” championship–is the… Read more »


Clearlake are going to have problems meeting those financial commitments if their equity keeps dropping due to bad business (carvana).


Boehly seems to be an idiot which I suppose is good for us but it’s annoying that they inflated the prices so much for all the players

Emi Rates

I for one have loved seeing Chelsea struggle this season.

1 because they quickly became the most annoying and obnoxious club (fans included) with their gazumping other clubs left and right.

2 because they were ALWAYS an annoying and obnoxious fucking club (cunt fans included)!

Their struggles this season couldn’t have been more deserved. Putin backing oligarch loving cunts.


Me too. Their behaviour was obnoxious and classless, good to see it fail.

Better for everybody if pissing away money like that doesn’t work. Things are crazy enough already.

karl g

Even with all that money and blowing us out of the water with transfers, Chelsea finished 12th and Mudryk looks a lightweight.

Emi Rates

A hundred million or something for a player who runs like the wind and hoofs it wide almost every time.

karl g

Or over the bar. Maybe there’s an opportunity for him on the John Smith adverts!

Emi Rates



I’m sorry but that doesn’t wash. Arteta and the players have done (are still doing) their bit – secured Champions League football for next season and made Arsenal a far more attractive proposition for a professional footballer to consider adding to his CV, regardless of who he is. In short, we have one of the most talented and exciting teams – and set ups in world football. The onus is now very much on Edu and the Kroenkes to deliver. The selling points are there, the Champions League advantage over Chelsea and Liverpool is there and the money – and… Read more »

El Mintero

It’s all very well calling for massive investment but many of us still question the Kroenke’s business model for Arsenal. They sure as shit ain’t loading the family biz with transfer debt so where does it go? Glazers mkII?


So we’ve come all this way with Arteta and the process and you – and people like you -question why we should spend the £20m-£30m more wanted by West Ham and Brighton on what are arguably the final pieces of the jigsaw…?

We’ve all seen in the past few weeks why this club was unable to get over the line in the title race – and some of you still don’t get it when it comes to rectifying the situation.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

It is a massive window for us. Trossard and Jorginho were both good plan bs. To show we are back competing at the top level and looking to maintain it, I recon we must get either rice or caciedo. If we get both my goodness that would be a statement and a half.


In the grand scheme of things it wouldn’t cost us much more to secure these guys than what we’re reportedly expecting to bid.

This cannot become a bidding war where we end up get bombed out of the water yet again for the sake of a lousy 20% extra on our initial bid.

As Arsenal fans, we’ve seen this film time and time again ad nauseam – and many, myself included, are getting just a tad sick of the excuses, the martyrdom and the sanctimonious penny pinching.

19 years without a Premiership title clearly isn’t enough for some.


If leverkusen are paying peanuts, I would personally keep xhaka and buy Rice too. It will be a long season next year, especially if there is a cup run and Xhaa is fit and versatile. I don’t get it…


Xhaka earns at least 100k a week, means selling him now or letting him go for free next summer would be a difference of around 20 Mio. When you need money to reinvest in your squad and the player is at Xhakas age, it absolutely makes sense.
Apart from that he wants to move back to Germany from what I’ve heard and surely wouldn’t be happy about a back up role for Rice or whoever will be our new midfielder.


Sell Xhaka, get Rice plus another top midfielder. No depth means no chance of of success.


Bit of a shame we’re going to miss out on Mac Allister to be honest. Could’ve also got the Irish contingent up from 0 to 2 in one transfer window


The most difficult period to be an Arsenal fan is during transfers.


Cue, we low ball bid for Rice and Caiceido and lose out on them both and sign Zubamendi for 30 million less than we should have offered for Caiceido. We might have the pulling power, but lack the brutality of blowing teams out of the water.



Arteta has done his bit.

The team have done theirs.

Time for Edu and Josh to deliver.


Remember a lot of people saying exactly that after we missed out on Mudryk. Sometimes the lack of brutality is actually the presence of common sense.


…..Says the bloke who once thought Arsenal should consider selling Saka……😂


Zubamendi would be a fine addition to our squad, and the quoted asking price for him is around 50m. Caiceido might be a good player, but I don’t know if he’s worth 80m- people aren’t going to like this comparison, but he reminds me a bit of the Scotty Parker ‘run around a bit’ midfielder we were constantly linked with in the late Wenger era.


Yeah, thanks but no thanks, Mister Bargain Basement.

We’re Champions League now, not 8th.


Feeling pretty confident we will make some good additions, we always seem to

Might not be Rice and/or Caicedo, which given the prices being quoted might be sensible. If we can get a player 90% as good for half the price it probably makes sense to do that.

Then again maybe we will go large at this point given the fact that the squad no longer needs major surgery


Part of me is worried that we’ll sign neither because the clubs take the piss. It is insane to me that both Caicedo and Rice are being touted as £90 million players when we’re getting offers for Balogun at the 30million level. But all my concern actually disappears when I remember the club have a good head on them now, and if we don’t get these lads, our second choices won’t be awful. Look at Trossard. I think both Mikel and Edu have earned the fans trust when it comes to who they sign.


Rice has an inflated price tag because he’s English and basically the only sellable asset west ham have (bar bowen or maybe fornals).

A Different George

To add to your point: Ramsdale and Zinchenko were apparently not first choices either. But the comparison to Balogun is misplaced. I have seen Declan Rice play against Liverpool and Spurs and Man United (and Italy and France, by the way), and I know how he does. Same, a little less, with Caicedo. The only time I saw Balogun play in the Premier League, he was clearly overmatched. I’m sure the year in France has made a big difference but I am not convinced that anyone would pay more for him than for Eddie.


Ramsdale was a way better get than David Raya.


Look at Viera & Lokonga & Cedric players we cannot give away now


Who said we were giving away Vieira?


There’s Mrs Xhaka with the cases packed and her colour scheme for the new home curtains all finalised – and now hubby is going to get his ears cleaned out because Arsenal are doing their business – ahem – arse about face.

Why am I not surprised…..🙄


If arsenal are smart about negotiations with rice, they’d lay it out like this: stay in london where your family are already settled, make more money, increase your visibility and likelihood of that England captaincy, play in the champions league, play regularly, and work with a coach that can improve your game.
Over to you, edu and mikel.


If reports from both the Mail and the Daily fucking Mirror are to be believed – dubious, I know – then both Rice and Caicedo have agreed terms with Arsenal. In other words, Arteta has done his job and sell them the club.

Now comes the tricky bit; getting Josh and Edu to acknowledge that we are in the big boys ballpark now. This is not a time for penny pinching.

We’ve been there and worn that T shirt in January.


Gundogan is 32, so obviously not an option.


He’s just won the double (so-to-be treble?)

How on earth can he not be an option? The guy is on fire.


Did he win the double or soon to be treble all by himself? City would still win all they won without Gundogan


Well, he did score both goals during FA finals..


On your FIFA23, maybe.


The club should just let Xhaka go. It’s obvious that the player just wants to move on: apparently there’s a nice lucrative long-term contract waiting for him to sign in Germany. If we force him to stay we’ll just end up with a demotivated player who won’t perform. Edu should shake his hand and say, “All the best.” I just hope the Rice signing doesn’t develop into another summer-long protracted saga that ends with the club being gazumped by Chelsea or another competitor. We need to get all our business done early so that we can hit the ground running… Read more »

Rec Cannon

If they let him go without having signed the replacement yet, that weakens our hand with the negotiation. As long as Xhaka doesn’t have to wait until the end of the summer before being allowed to make the move, he will be happy, we won’t look like dicks who can’t be trusted to other players in the squad, & our negotiating position is about as good as it’s going to be.


I have read (a questionable source admittedly) that Man City have entered the race for Declan Rice.
I don’t care what good things he has reportedly said about us – as soon as City come in for him, he will go there.
Same really with most of our competitors like Chelsea, United and Liverpool.
They will offer more, and we will lose out.
I don’t buy all this “Arsenal are different now” nonsense.
Its Kroenke and his priorities lie with his American teams.


Don’t tell me; your source comes from those pillars of respectable football society, TalkShite…..


And fight with both Rodri and Kalvin Phillips for one place at the base of midfield?

Merlin’s Panini

Given Leverkusen’s lowball offer I wouldn’t mind Xhaka staying around given we really need a deep squad and we’ll need his replacement plus one more to provide that. As Chelsea’s transfer strategy is to just blow everyone out of the water, as will be Newcastle’s potentially, we have to act quickly and smartly in the transfer windows now. ultimately it’s the player who decides where they go but, as we’ve seen with Mudryk, money talks. As Clive said on the pod this summer feels like the one. We have to strengthen and show everyone we mean business to ensure this… Read more »


Well we have our midfield tandem name if we get them both, Raicedo running the show!


Good if we get them both but if we fail with one or the other, Xhaka’s a good backup option.


Good luck to Granit, a well deserved send off on his tremendous season and final game, Rice i hear is coming our way, he doesn’t want to leave London or play for the club that let him go and wants CL action, his Irish old man was an Arsenal supporter also when we played with the likes of Brady, Stapleton, Jennings, Nelson, O’Leary.. Hes great mates with Buyako who has sounded him out to play for Londons best young team..


Let’s just hope Edu plays ball with West Ham….


What about Youri Teilemans ? Gifted , arteta can improve a lot , 20m ? from a relegated club


Too slow, not good enough. One of the reasons Leicester have gone down is his bang averageness.

El Mintero

Lol. Dude you were banging on how good it would be if tielemans joined us last summer and again in January. Make yer mind up son.


Name me one person, with the exception of Arteta, who expected the level of progress the team made last season?

I said Tielemans was good enough, because I expected us to push on from 5th and maybe creep into fourth place – not start smashing it up and remain top of the pile for seven eighths of the season.

Tielemans might have been a good addition last July – but he is nowhere near where the team are now.

For someone who thought Odegaard and Jesus wouldn’t bring anything to the table, you’re somewhat slinging rocks from a greenhouse.

Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

Really torn on this one.
One of the best passers from deep to unlock defences, great on the ball when shifting to give others space, excellent shooting from range, and can arrive in the box at the perfect moment when given license. But not good in the defensive third and would only ever be a utility player.
We could use him, and he is out of contract so ‘free’ (signing on free etc.). What are people’s thoughts on this? Good squad player, or potential liability?

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