Arsenal are reportedly inches from completing a deal to sign Granit Xhaka after the Switzerland midfielder flew into London for talks. Plus, it's emerged the Gunners are prepared to make Juventus striker Alvaro Morata their highest-paid player.
ESPN FC's Peter O'Rourke reported that Borussia Monchengladbach ace Xhaka is in England's capital to negotiate his move to the Emirates Stadium, despite the two clubs having yet to agree a fee for the player.
As mentioned by O'Rourke, Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl has already confirmed the club received an offer for Xhaka, who has made little secret of his wish to one day play in the English top flight.
Bundesliga expert Raphael Honigstein revealed earlier in the week that Arsenal's offer for the player was far lower than what Borussia Monchengladbach were expecting:
Raphael Honigstein @honigstein
bit of a twist in the Xhaka story. official bid has now come in much lower than Gladbach expected after negotiations with 3rd parties.2016-5-19 13:20:09
That means the Gunners will most likely have to improve their bid before they can look to sign the 23-year-old, although negotiating personal terms may not be an issue with Xhaka now in London.
Metro blogger Oli Price-Bates has teased the thought of Xhaka running the Arsenal midfield alongside a fit-again Jack Wilshere, who once again struggled against recurring injuries this season:
If we can keep Wilshere fit and play him in the same midfield as Xhaka we might finally see some fight and leadership in the #afc midfield2016-5-21 06:08:14
With the departures of Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini this summer, central midfield is likely to be a key area of recruitment for manager Arsene Wenger, who has lost a lot of leadership talent in that zone.
However, FIFA media manager Alex Stone has questioned Xhaka's valuation when compared alongside former team-mate Havard Nordtveit, who recently moved to West Ham United on a free transfer:
Alex Stone @AlexStone7
Just looked at Bundesliga stats of Nordtveit & Xhaka. Very little difference. Not €30m. Weigl at Dortmund younger & more impressive. Hmm.2016-5-20 20:03:58
Up front, the Sun's Jamie Sanderson has reported the Gunners are "ready to smash their wage budget" in order to win the race for Juve frontman Morata, who could rake in £155,000 a week at the Emirates.
That would trump the £140,000-a-week wages current top earner Mesut Ozil earns, and Tom Collomosse of the London Evening Standard has suggested it could be a worthwhile investment:
Tom Collomosse @TomCStandard
If a Premier League club signs Alvaro Morata this summer it will be a superb piece of business - *if* they can keep him fit.2016-5-20 10:09:17
That being said, it seems like a heavy expenditure for a 23-year-old who scored 11 goals in 46 appearances for the Bianconeri, playing the full 90 minutes on just seven occasions and starting in only 26 of those outings.
But it appears Wenger sees great potential in the Spain striker, and with Danny Welbeck now sidelined for the next nine months, per BBC Sport, attacking reinforcements are another must for Arsenal.