Emery Coy Over Xhaka’s Future
Arsenal could sell midfielder Granit Xhaka in January after stripping him of the club captaincy.
The Switzerland international hasn’t played for the club since his spat with club supporters after he was substituted in the recent 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Xhaka has since been stripped of the club captaincy, but when asked on Tuesday whether he would play again for the club, manager Unai Emery’s response was very non-committal.
“The future is Arsenal’s future. We have a very important match on Saturday,” Emery said at a press conference ahead of this afternoon’s Europa League clash with Vitoria Guimaeres.
“We need to take some decisions… My focus is for tomorrow.
“He is our player, we want to respect him.”
Emery’s comments have led to speculation over a January sale.
Arsenal bought Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach In 2016 for a fee estimated at between £30 million and £35 million. Based on an initial contract of five years’ duration that means his current amortisation value in Arsenal’s books is between £12 million and £14 million.
The Gunners play Vitoria at 3.50pm GMT on Wednesday. The match has been brought forward from Thursday as the Portugese side’s rivals Sporting Braga face Turkish club Besiktas tomorrow. The two towns are around 20 miles apart and Uefa elected to bring one of the tie forward.
Uefa have insisted on an early kick-off in order to avoid a clash with tonight’s Champions League games that kick off at 5.55 and 8pm.