Granit Xhaka proposed move from Arsenal to Bayer Leverkusen

Xhaka became an integral performer for Mikel Arteta despite his outburst towards the fans against Crystal Palace in 2019, having been jeered off the pitch while being substituted.

The 30-year-old was stripped of the captaincy by Unai Emery in the wake of that incident, but Arteta convinced him to stay, and he enjoyed one of his finest seasons in North London in 2022-23.

Xhaka’s contract at the Emirates is due to expire next year, though, and while Arteta has frequently cooled talk of a possible exit, his departure is expected to be made official soon.

After Arsenal’s 5-0 Premier League final-day win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 28, Xhaka – who scored twice on the day – told fans outside the Emirates that a decision on his future would be made the following week.

However, an official update is yet to arrive, and according to German outlet Kicker, the transfer will not go through until Arsenal have captured a successor.

The Gunners are believed to be pushing to sign both West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, both of whom still have continental commitments to think about before the end of the season.

Rice and West Ham will battle for Europa Conference League glory against Fiorentina on Wednesday night, three days before Gundogan captains Man City in the Champions League final against Inter Milan.

Once both finals have been concluded, Arsenal are expected to make a formal offer to West Ham for Rice, while Gundogan is out of contract with Man City at the end of the month and is thought to be nearing an exit due to disagreements over the length of a possible renewal.