Xhaka closing in on Arsenal exit

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka looks to be closing in on a move away from Arsenal as his agent has revealed terms have been agreed with Hertha Berlin.

There have been serious questions over the long-term future of Xhaka at the Emirates following his on-field outburst towards the fans during the Crystal Palace game earlier this season.

The 27-year-old was subsequently stripped of the club captaincy, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now wearing the armband, while the Swiss midfielder was given counselling and left out of the squad until Arsenal hosted Eintracht Frankfurt a month later in the Europa League.

That all came under the managership of Unai Emery but after the alarming slump in form was not arrested, the Spanish tactician paid the price, with Freddie Ljungberg given the reins on an interim basis before Mikel Arteta was appointed on a permanent deal ahead of the goalless draw with Everton on December 21.

Arteta was in the dugout for the first time for the Boxing Day draw at Bournemouth and his arrival had given renewed hope that Xhaka still had a future with the Gunners, particularly as he had spoken so positively about the midfielder in public, suggesting he had been looked at as a potential Manchester City player when Arteta was assistant to Pep Guardiola.

However, Blick reports that has irked Xhaka and he has been told by the new head coach that he is free to find himself a new club.

It seems that he and his team have been making giant strides in securing an exit, with his agent confirming terms have now been agreed with Hertha Berlin, with Jurgen Klinsmann keen to bring in midfield reinforcements to help his side pull away from the relegation places.

“Look, I say it frankly and honestly: we agree with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,” agent Jose Moguera said.

“We told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu – as well as the new trainer Mikel Arteta.

“Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear. It is only about the transfer fee of the clubs.”

Xhaka played the full 90 minutes of Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal, the 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, but only time will tell if this news impacts on his inclusion in the squad for Sunday’s derby against Chelsea at the Emirates.