Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has admitted star midfielder Granit Xhaka could leave the club for the right price, amid rumours the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich are tracking the Switzerland international.
Speaking to WDR 2 radio (h/t Press Association, for the Daily Mail), Eberl made it clear the club doesn't have to sell, but substantial offers could change the situation:
It depends a bit on our own sporting success, it depends on Granit's own performances and of course it depends on the figures.
If they reach a certain dimension, then you could get dizzy. There are always situations in which every club would have to make considerations.
It is all in our own hands. As things stand, we are happy to have him with us and hopefully he will stay with us for a long time.
The 23-year-old moved to the Bundesliga in 2012 and recently signed a new long-term deal with Monchengladbach, handing the team all leverage in potential transfer talks. His future remains a hotly debated topic, however, after a number of strong showings in Germany this season.
Xhaka is a well-rounded and versatile midfielder who has experience as a primary playmaker and creative force, a defensive midfielder and ball-winner and everywhere in between. In many ways, he's not too dissimilar to Juventus star Claudio Marchisio, who also does all of the little things well on the pitch.
Here's a look at some of his highlights:
He doesn't play a position of need for the Gunners, but given his age, he would be a magnificent long-term replacement for Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta, two veterans who are close to the end of their Arsenal careers.
Bleacher Report UK's James McNicholas is a fan, and he urged manager Arsene Wenger to sign the Swiss midfielder:
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
#Arsenal should do all they can to sign Granit Xhaka | @gunnerblog https://t.co/SP1gzxB4WB https://t.co/yIsrwLWwyJ2016-1-12 15:38:34
The biggest concern with Xhaka would be where to play him. It would be difficult to pair him with Aaron Ramsey, as the two tend to drift in and out of the same pockets of space, and ideally, one of them would play next to Francis Coquelin, who is a far better defender.
Too much depth is never a bad thing, however, and if Xhaka is available for the right price, it's an option Wenger would have to consider. But with Monchengladbach surging in the Bundesliga after a poor start and Xhaka playing a big part in that run, the Germans are unlikely to let him walk for a favourable fee.
Gunners to Battle Liverpool for Ben Chilwell
According to the Sun (h/t Daily Star's Alex Harris), Arsenal will once again try to land 19-year-old full-back Ben Chilwell, an emerging prospect for Leicester City whose low wages and tremendous potential will lead to a transfer battle with Liverpool.
Per the report, the teenager makes just £800 per week, and while the Foxes are set to hand him a new deal and remain adamant he won't be sold, he's still “considering his future.” Leicester turned down an offer from Arsenal during the summer.
Chilwell looked mighty impressive during the team's FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur, drawing rave reviews from the BBC's John Bennett:
John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC
Ben Chilwell has a bright future. Looks like he's been playing against Premier League teams for years. #lcfc #THFC2016-1-10 17:29:06
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri praised the youngster after the match, per Harris, and made it clear he has no intention of letting him walk, saying: "Ben is our future and he stays with us.”
But first-team chances have been hard to come by for Chilwell, who spent part of the season on loan with Huddersfield. The experienced Christian Fuchs is almost an automatic starter for the Foxes out on the left wing, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.
The situation wouldn't be any different at the Emirates Stadium, where Nacho Monreal is enjoying a fine season, but Arsenal would be able to hand the youngster better terms while they develop him to eventually succeed the Spaniard. With Kieran Gibbs failing to take the next step in his career, it wouldn't be a bad idea to add another young option behind Monreal.
Home-grown talent like Chilwell is rare and valuable, so expect Leicester City to put up a serious fight in an attempt to keep him at the King Power Stadium.