Edu has hinted at Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka replacement with transfer chief confident of £20m deal

Granit Xhaka’s likely Arsenal exit this summer poses one big question.

As reported by , the Swiss midfielder has signalled that he is willing to leave the Gunners when the transfer window opens next month and Serie A outfit Roma are confident of signing him.

Arsenal are understood to have told the Giallorossi that the starting point for negotiations will begin at £20million, and are keen to wrap up any deal before Xhaka heads off to the Euro 2020 with Switzerland in less than a fortnight’s time.

With the north London outfit looking to raise in excess of £60million with player sales this summer, this could be the first step towards Mikel Arteta’s planned squad overhaul ahead of the 2021/22 season.

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Should Xhaka leave, one major question that many Arsenal fans will want to be answered is likely to be is; Who will replace him?

And not just personnel-wise, but as a leader in the squad.

Jose Mourinho, who could be the midfielder’s next manager, has already publicly praised Xhaka, saying the Gunners are “lost” without him in the middle of the park.

“Xhaka is the main man in the entire Arsenal midfield, you can’t see it unless I lend you one of my eyes,” he said a couple of years ago. “Without him, Arsenal is lost.

“He is a leader. Remember, mistakes are made by humans.”

Interestingly, Arsenal’s technical director Edu has already hinted at the perfect replacement for Xhaka in terms of the leadership role on and after the picth.

Speaking after the Gunners sealed a £45m deal for Thomas Partey last summer, the Gunners’ transfer chief touted the Ghana international to be a key player for the team.

“Thomas has all the right attributes to be a top player for Arsenal,” Edu told the club’s official website. “He is a leader on and off the pitch and he is exactly the kind of player and person we want at the club.

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“We already feel like we know Thomas very well based on the work we have done analysing his performances closely in recent times.

“With his all-round game and positive aggressive style, he will be a brilliant addition to our squad.

“We’ve made a strong start to the season and we want to continue to build on this with Thomas now part of our club.”

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