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Jose Mourinho names surprise first transfer target as Roma manager

Jose Mourinho, Tottenham
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Jose Mourinho has reportedly made a move for his first transfer target as the new Roma manager.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Jose Mourinho and AS Roma.

Mourinho plans to bolster his new squad after replacing Paulo Fonseca as manager for the 2021/22 campaign and has already laid eyes on Xhaka.

According to Sky Sports, Roma have entered talks with Arsenal for the 28-year-old. Negotiations, however, have already hit a big stumbling block at this stage.

With Xhaka under contract until 2023, Arsenal are under no immediate pressure to sell. Mikel Arteta’s side, therefore, have set a price tag of around £21.5 million (€25m) – something Roma won’t accept.

The Giallorossi reportedly only plan to spend approximately £10m plus bonuses to sign Xhaka.

Mourinho, meanwhile, is a long-term admirer of Xhaka’s and openly praised the Switzerland international only two years ago.

“He is the most important man in the entire Arsenal midfield,” said the former Chelsea and Tottenham boss. “He’s a true leader.”

Of course, Xhaka almost left Arsenal in January 2020 for German club Hertha BSC. Arteta, however, convinced him to stay, and he has since enjoyed a decent spell under the Gunners boss.

But while happy in London, Football London state the former Borussia Monchengladbach star allegedly respects Mourinho and could be tempted into a move.