Arsenal consider Kante transfer with Xhaka ‘potentially set to leave’
Arsenal are reportedly considering signing Chelsea star N’Golo Kante this summer. Granit Xhaka could be on his way out of the Emirates and the Frenchman could come in as a replacement.
Kante is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. After missing a large chunk of the campaign through injury, he has been a regular since Frank Lampard returned to the club as interim boss.
Lampard has often used the 32-year-old in a more advanced role. Chelsea are set to miss out on European football altogether next season and that may play a part in whether Kante wants to stay at Stamford Bridge.
The Mirror claims that Kante is on Arsenal’s list of midfield targets this summer. The Gunners could pick him up on a free transfer if the decision is made by either party for him to leave Chelsea.
Kante has played over 250 times for the Blues since signing from Leicester in 2016. He has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League during his time in west London.
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Midfield is an area Arsenal are keen to recruit in this summer. Declan Rice is their top target, while Moises Caicedo is also on their radar.
Signing both Rice and Caicedo may not be realistic financially, so bringing in a player of Kante’s quality and experience for free could work well for Mikel Arteta. He could step into a gap left by Xhaka.
The same report says the Switzerland international is a top target for Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga club wanted to sign him last summer but he decided to stay put in north London.
Xhaka has had arguably his best season in an Arsenal shirt and has won back many of the club’s supporters after the public falling out in late 2019 saw him stripped of the captaincy. He has often worn the armband this season when Martin Odegaard has not played or has been substituted.
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Leverkusen are managed by former Spain and Liverpool star Xabi Alonso. He is close friends with Xhaka and wants to take him to Germany.
Xhaka, who turns 31 in September, knows the Bundesliga well having spent four years at Borussia Monchengladbach before signing for Arsenal in 2016. Leverkusen are hoping to put together a package that would entice him to the club.
Arsenal are set to allow Xhaka to make his own decision on his future following the seven years of service he has given them. He has made 294 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, scoring 21 goals and registering 29 assists.
Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for the first time since Xhaka signed this season. He has enjoyed his best return in terms of goal contributions, with five goals and seven assists in 34 Premier League matches so far.
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