Granit Xhaka's Agent Says Midfielder Wants to Leave Arsenal; Hertha Terms Agreed

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal and Aaron Mooy of Brighton and Hove Albion during to the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

The agent of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has said the player has agreed terms with Hertha Berlin and wants to leave the club.

Per BLICK (h/t The Athletic's James McNicholas), new manager Mikel Arteta has privately told Xhaka he can leave in the summer while publicly backing the Switzerland international:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Xhaka said to be angry that while Arteta publicly professed his admiration for the player, he told him in private he could leave in the summer. Hertha believed to have submitted a bid of €25 million, but Arsenal are holding out for more.

German Football Daily shared the comments from agent Jose Noguera:

German Football Daily @GERFootDaily

#Xhaka‘s agent Jose Noguera confirmed that Xhaka wants to leave #Arsenal: "Granit Xhaka agreed terms with #Hertha. He has asked the Arsenal bosses and also Mikel Arteta to let him go to Berlin". [FT] #afc #hahohe

Per the Guardian's Nick Ames, Arteta said he wants Xhaka at the Emirates Stadium earlier this week:

Guardian sport @guardian_sport

Mikel Arteta tells ‘terrific player’ Granit Xhaka his future lies with Arsenal. By @NickAmes82 https://t.co/f9Mc1UrsdO

An exit has seemed inevitable since Xhaka reacted angrily to jeers from the home fans during a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in October. Wearing the captain's armband, he cupped his ears to invite more boos, took off his shirt and walked straight past then-manager Unai Emery and into the tunnel.

He later issued a statement to explain his reaction:

Arsenal @Arsenal

The following is a message from Granit Xhaka... https://t.co/YG5lBKmQvi

The 27-year-old returned to the starting XI a month after the incident in the 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League. His level of play has gradually improved in the past few weeks, and he was among the standouts during the 1-1 draw against Bournemouth on Thursday.

According to Bleacher Report's Dean Jones, a January move is possible, and Xhaka would welcome even a loan deal with Hertha. He previously played for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.

Hertha entered the winter break just four points ahead of the Bundesliga's relegation play-off spot and are expected to strengthen their squad significantly in January.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Lewis Cook of AFC Bournemouth battles for possession with Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Ki
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The experienced Xhaka would be a major coup for the club from the capital. With plenty of Bundesliga experience under his belt, he likely wouldn't need too much time to get settled and contribute.

Arsenal could also experience turnover in January, giving Arteta the chance to start forming the squad to his liking. The primary objective for this season has to be a European ticket, however, and to achieve such a goal, experienced players like Xhaka are needed.

A bid of €25 million seems fair value, but more may be needed to convince the Gunners to cash in on their former captain.