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Football

Jose Mourinho Targets Current Arsenal Player As His First Roma Signing

Alex Reid

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Jose Mourinho Targets Current Arsenal Player As His First Roma Signing

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.

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.

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.

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

Topics: Jose Mourinho, Granit Xhaka, Roma, Arsenal

Alex Reid
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