In Brief

Xhaka in demand: clubs battle to sign Arsenal midfielder

Newcastle and Monchengladbach are ready to fight for the Swiss star’s signature

It looks like Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal days are over, reports The Sun, with the paper claiming that the Gunners will offer the Swiss midfielder back to Borussia Monchengladbach but “want their star man Denis Zakaria in return”. 

Apparently Arsenal boss Unai Emery has decided that Xhaka no longer has a future at the club after his outburst last month, a crime exacerbated by a recent Instagram post, in which he declared: “Happiness is when you are satisfied with yourself and don’t need the confirmation of others.” 

Zakaria for Xhaka?

The Sun says Arsenal’s ideal scenario is to offload former club captain Xhaka back to Monchengladbach, whence he came in 2016, and in return bring Zakaria to the Emirates. 

The 22-year-old defensive midfielder has been in dazzling form this season and Emery is aware that Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are all “monitoring his situation”. 

Emery is therefore keen to beat his rivals to the prize and he is hoping he can use Xhaka as bait. 

Magpies may swoop

However, media in the north east claim that Newcastle are hopeful of luring Xhaka to Tyneside with the Shields Gazette and the Northern Echo stating that Toon manager Steve Bruce is “keen to bolster his midfield ranks in the winter window” and sees the Swiss international as the perfect fit. 

Apparently the Magpies’s managing director Lee Charnley is “understood to be willing to sanction such a deal if it could be agreed”.

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Boy from Brazil

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have “contacted the father of highly-rated Flamengo midfielder Reinier Jesus” to sound him about about a future move. 

The 17-year-old South American sizzler has set the Brazilian league alight this season after making his first-team debut for Flamengo in July. 

Though he penned a new contract recently that ties him to the club until 2024 there is a release clause set at £60m, and Emery is ready to trigger it after favourable reports from his scouts. 

Manchester City, Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in the teenage sensation but Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim Arsenal “lead the way” in the race to his signature thanks to the presence at the Emirates of Gabriel Martinelli.

Today’s back pages 

Tottenham line up Pochettino replacements, Jones fears Saracens Six Nations snub, Southgate job hinges on Euros

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