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Arsenal Transfer News: Granit Xhaka Linked to Bayern Munich Switch, Top Rumours

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2017

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal celebrates during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal at Vitality Stadium on January 3, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Legendary manager Ottmar Hitzfeld has "suggested" former club Bayern Munich are watching Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka as they search for a replacement for Xabi Alonso.

The former Real Madrid and Liverpool star is set to retire at the end of the season, and Hitzfeld has revealed the Bundesliga champions are considering the Switzerland international.

German publication SportBild (h/t Tom Olver of Metro) reported Der FCB could target the 24-year-old after Hitzfeld's comments to the newspaper.

"Bayern certainly has Xhaka on the radar," said Hitzfeld. "Xhaka is always a topic for current top clubs, and his development is not yet complete."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07:  Franck Ribery of Bayern Muenchen holds off Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Arsenal FC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on March 7, 2017 in London, United
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The player joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach for £30 million in 2016, but he has failed to live up to the hype after sensational form in Germany. 

The central talent has started 16 Premier League games since his switch but has seen two red cards in his brief career at the Emirates Stadium, according to WhoScored.com.

Squawka Football highlighted the player's questionable record:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Granit Xhaka’s last 6 games: Red vs. Burnley Yellow vs. Bayern Yellow vs. Sutton Yellow vs. Liverpool Yellow vs. Bayern Yellow vs. Lincoln https://t.co/eqkJ6CrRbm

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Hitzfeld has previously dubbed the player a "young [Bastian] Schweinsteiger," comparing his attributes to the Bayern and Germany legend, per the Telegraph. That article revealed it was Xhaka's dream to play in the Premier League before moving to north London, so a return to his former league might not appeal to him.

In other Gunners news, manager Arsene Wenger will battle Chelsea coach Antonio Conte for the services of Manchester United prodigy Jesse Lingard, as the London giants attempt to recruit the hard-working attacker.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United (R) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Jesse Lingard of Manchester United (L) during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at Th
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Mike McGrath of The Sun reported Arsenal want to sign the England man, who netted as the Red Devils won the EFL Cup at Wembley Stadium.

Lingard's versatility makes him an asset, able to play as a wing-back or across the midfield.

According to McGrath, Chelsea are "keen" to swoop for Lingard, who remains on the fringes of the United first team—but his development has been clear to see over the past 12 months.

The potential departure of Xhaka would be a stinging blow to Wenger, but the player has not delivered in his opening season in England.

The midfielder has proved to be a combative warrior on the pitch, but he has not solidified a starting berth with his current form.

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