Newcastle United are ready to make a move for Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka in January, according to the Times.
The newspaper claim on their website that after the Switzerland international was stripped of the captaincy at the Gunners, he is expected to try and force an exit, with Steve Bruce a big admirer.
The Times report that the Magpies are keen to agree a short-term deal for the 27-year-old that could benefit all parties, despite his £130,000-a-week wages suggested to be out of reach at this moment at St James’ Park.
It is suggested that Newcastle would be prepared to pay Arsenal a significant percentage of his salary, whilst giving Xhaka the opportunity to play regular Premier League football.
There is no doubting that Xhaka would add valuable experience into the heart of Newcastle’s midfield this season, but they have to question many factors before even thinking about launching an offer. The Swiss international has not exactly been the most reliable figure for the Gunners despite previously being their captain, just look at the incident against Crystal Palace when he was heckled massively when leaving the pitch, only for him to react. His disciplinary record is also a big cause for concern moving forward, already picking up four yellow cards – which seems quite low for the number of fouls he makes in games. The 27-year-old would expect guaranteed football every single week at St James’ Park, and with the massive wages, he would require it would almost double their current highest earner in Miguel Almiron. Newcastle should avoid Xhaka in January, and target much younger, cheaper, and more importantly hungrier players.