Newcastle United have reportedly expressed their interest to sign the recent wantaway Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka on loan in the upcoming January transfer window.
The Swiss national team captain has recently fallen out of favour under Unai Emery due to his outburst in the Gunners’ home 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace where he had an altercation with the home faithful.
Xhaka was substituted after the Eagles came back from a 2-0 deficit and the enigmatic captain was surprised and walked off the pitch. The home faithful did not appreciate the fact that Xhaka was taking his time and booed the midfielder as he was making his way off the pitch.
The 27-year-old responded in a violent manner, cupping his ears and swearing at a section of the home crowd, before throwing the captain’s armband on the floor and ripping the Arsenal kit off.
Following the incident, manager Unai Emery has not allowed the midfielder to feature for his side and stripped him of the captaincy, which the Swiss international gained via a vote from his teammates.
However, his absence in the squad has neither helped nor hindered the Gunners as Emery’s men have struggled throughout the course of the Premier League campaign.
Arsenal currently sit in 6th position and are already 8 points adrift from a top-four position after 12 games with both Sheffield United and Leicester City above them.
Xhaka is currently 11/1 to move to Newcastle in January but on a permanent deal, with AC Milan looking the most likely option for the deep-lying playmaker.
It has been reported that Xhaka has been house hunting in Milan and thus, it comes as no surprise that the odds of him moving to Stefano Pioli’s side is set at 3/1.
Newcastle were seen as early contenders for a relegation fight at the start of the season following the departures of Ayoze Perez and Solomon Rondon as well as a Champions League-winning manager in Rafa Benitez.
However, the Magpies are currently sitting pretty in 13th place, one above Champions League runners-up Tottenham, thanks to their last two fixtures.
Back-to-back wins over West Ham and Bournemouth has meant that Steve Bruce’s side are now 7 points clear of the relegation places and wins against Manchester United and Spurs has given Bruce some time to win the doubters over.
When Xhaka moved to the Emirates from Borussia Monchengladbach for £35m, he was regarded as the ‘next Xabi Alonso’. However, his time so far with the North London outfit has left a lot to be desired.
The brilliant passer still has a lot of quality to show and a move to Tyneside could help propel both Newcastle and Xhaka’s stock, but Steve Bruce and co. will have to stave off AC Milan to get their man.