Arsenal ponder using Xhaka as Zakaria makeweight


Arsenal could use Granit Xhaka as a makeweight to bring in Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Xhaka’s days with the Gunners appear to be numbered after he disrespected the club’s fans at the end of last month.

The Switzerland international midfielder made several sarcastic gestures as he was booed while being substituted before removing his shirt and walking straight down the tunnel in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on October 27.

Manager Unai Emery has accepted bringing Xhaka back into the fold will be almost impossible and is ready to offload the 27-year-old in the January window.

Premier League rivals Newcastle United had appeared to be his most likely destination and they are ready to move in the winter window. However, Arsenal could snub their interest in order to bring in a replacement.

The north London outfit are among a number of clubs chasing Gladbach enforcer Zakaria and are ready to include Xhaka as part of their offer for the 22-year-old, an international team-mate of Xhaka’s.

Zakaria has starred for the Bundesliga leaders this season and a number of clubs from across Europe have been mooted as potential suitors.

Arsenal are likely to face competition from the Premier League as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be keen.

La Liga title chasers Atletico Madrid were linked in October and Serie A’s Inter Milan are understood to be interested, while Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund could offer Zakaria the chance to continue his career in Germany.

However, Arsenal’s offer may well stand out to Gladbach as it would provide them with a like-for-like replacement and Xhaka remains a popular figure at Borussia Park.

The Swiss midfielder managed 140 appearances in a four-year spell with Gladbach before leaving for Arsenal in a reported £35million deal in 2016.