| Last updated
Jose Mourinho wants to make an Arsenal player his first signing as Roma boss with the two clubs "in talks" over the transfer, according to reports in Italy.
The former Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea coach is aiming to reinforce the Roma midfield ahead of his first season in charge. To do that, he wants Arsenal's Swiss international Granit Xhaka.
The two clubs have begun initial negotiations, though no agreement has yet been reached (according to Sky Italia and other sources).
Arsenal's asking price is a reported €25 million (around £21.5 million), while Roma value the deal at €20 million. So the clubs are negotiating around that price.
Granit Xhaka is the first target for Jose Mourinho at AS Roma this summer. No agreement between the clubs yet. Work in progress. @DiMarzio- Francesco Porzio (@fraporzio95) May 27, 2021
Mourinho was a surprise Roma appointment, as it came just weeks after the 58-year-old Portuguese manager's dismissal from Spurs. However it seems clear that he already plans to add some size and steel to Roma's midfield, as he's also been linked with his former player: Manchester United's Nemanja Matic.
Xhaka, four years younger than Matic at 28 years old, has been a divisive player during his five-year spell at Arsenal.
Granit Xhaka and the Série A is the perfect combo. His attributes are perfect for that league. Mourinho knows https://t.co/3zayQ4RrvG- Renato (@rehnato) May 27, 2021
I can see Xhaka excelling in the slower paced Italian league. It'll be a good move for all parties if the price is right. He remains a liability in the PL.- Shaz (@Shaz_C_) May 27, 2021
Xhaka is far too good to sell right now, Even if we bring in Bissouma and Buendia i would still keep him as a better squad rotation than Elneny.- Jordan AFC (@JordanMT91) May 27, 2021
Our midfield next season would be Partey and vibes:sob:- SKEN:registered: (@nevedh) May 27, 2021
AS Roma are rich. Pay up.- Harry (@RunReissRun) May 27, 2021
The midfielder has frustrated fans with his occasional errors or lapses in concentration, but has been a consistent mainstay under every manager at the club during his time, playing in 45 matches last season (and winning two FA Cups at Arsenal).
While some Gunners fans will be glad to see the back of Xhaka, it will be interesting to see if a player who clearly does possess ability can thrive in Serie A and under Mourinho.
Xhaka has been a polarizing figure amongst arsenal fans. He has done a job for us. I admire his determination and personality...he has gone through some crap but plays for the badge. That said, I wouldn't mind this at all...time to move on.- NJCOYG (@NJCOYG1) May 27, 2021
Speaking about his future towards the end of last season, Xhaka said to RP Online: 'There are always rumours at the end of the season, that's for sure.
"But I still have a two-year contract in London and I am very happy with my family here.
"First of all, I'm looking at a successful Euro 2020 with the national team."
Should Arsenal cash in on Xhaka if they can? Or is their midfield worse without the Swiss star? Let us know in the comments.
All imagery: PA Images
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read