Former Premier League star Danny Mills has weighed in on the factors behind Arsenal’s reported U-turn on Granit Xhaka.
Jose Mourinho’s interest in Granit Xhaka may have forced Arsenal into reconsidering the midfielder’s future, according to Danny Mills.
Xhaka appeared all set to join Roma this summer after five seasons in north London. The 28-year-old even admitted interest from Mourinho made him ‘proud’ and refused to rule anything out.
A recent report from The Athletic, however, claims Arsenal could offer him a new contract instead. The Swiss’ impressive showing in Euro 2020, along with Roma’s failure to make a suitable offer, convinced manager Mikel Arteta and the club board to not put him on the market.
Arsenal are offering Granit Xhaka a new deal until June 2025 with an increased salary – more than what AS Roma are proposing in their contract bid. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
AS Roma last bid was €12m + €3m add ons, turned down. Arsenal are now confident to extend Xhaka contract soon.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 30, 2021
“He sort of divides opinion,” Mills told Football Insider of Xhaka.
“Everyone was like ‘He’s not good enough, get rid of him’. Then he has a good season, then he has a good Euros, then Mourinho wants him and all of a sudden it’s ‘We might want to keep him now’.”
The former Leeds and Manchester City full-back added: “It’s a strange one with Xhaka.
“He certainly divides opinion. He’s clearly got talent, you just need to play him in the right position and consistently in the right position to get the best out of him.
“Maybe that’s what Mourinho recognized and now Arteta has gone ‘Hang on a minute, alongside Partey, that might give us the platform to attack from there’.
“I thought it was done and dusted as a signing. I thought it was pretty much signed, sealed, and delivered but clearly not and something’s happening.”