Serie A club plot to rekindle chase for 98-cap Arsenal star this summer - Interest ‘never stopped’

The Gunners regular is said to be attracting interest from Italy.

AS Roma will look to rekindle their interest in Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka at the end of the season, according to a report from Gazetta dello Sport.

The Serie A side are currently managed by Jose Mourinho, and it is understood that the former Chelsea and Tottenham boss is a long-term admirer of the Swiss international.

Roma were heavily linked with a move for Xhaka last summer, but were ultimately unable to reach an agreement on a deal to take him to the Italian capital, with the player instead penning a contract extension at the Emirates.

But Gazetta suggest that Mourinho’s desire to sign the 29-year-old “never stopped”, and he will look to reignite his pursuit of the combative midfielder later in the year.

How likely are Arsenal to sell?

It wasn’t overly long ago that Xhaka’s exit from the Emirates looked fairly inevitable.

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In fact, had Roma managed to match Arsenal’s valuation of the player last year, the likelihood is that he would already be plying his trade in the Italian capital, and this fresh update would be non-existent.

It was mildly surprising, therefore, to see Xhaka put pen to paper on a contract extension that will supposedly keep him in north London until 2024, with the option of a further year beyond that.

Ultimately, that could be the main stumbling block that Roma have to overcome - not necessarily because the Gunners are hellbent on retaining Xhaka’s services, but rather because it allows them hold firm in their valuation.

The recent loan agreement for Ainsley Maitland-Niles shows that there is a workable relationship in place between the two clubs when it comes to negotiating transfers, but Xhaka’s contract situation could complicate matters.

What are the fans saying?

There seems to be a real split among Arsenal fans when it comes to discussions on Xhaka’s future.

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For many, the time has definitely come for the club to let him leave.

@TheEntityTVA tweeted: “I’d sell. He’s not progressive and is liable to that card or foul too often!”

@AFC_capt tweeted: “Take him please. We don’t need an error prone bum at our club. Get competent replacements.”

@BeniKay tweeted: “He must go. This one has cost us enough compared to what he offered us over the years. We have lost games through his penalties and red cards… He must go!”

But several others are less sure, with many calling for the midfielder to stay put.

@KingSwingers tweeted: “I rate Xhaka, I’d rather we kept him”.

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@tomwhite2001 tweeted: “People still can’t see Xhaka’s worth even though one of the best managers in the world has prioritised signing him “

@Beck_AFC tweeted: “£18-20m or get lost. Despite dividing opinion with fans, he’s without doubt valuable to the starting 11. That should cost someone when buying.”