Granit Xhaka looks set to request a move away from Arsenal in January, and according to The Telegraph Newcastle look poised to make an offer.
With the European Championships looming at the end of the season the Switzerland captain is in need of game time, which Steve Bruce would be able to offer despite having five centre-midfielders in his squad.
A loan deal could be suitable for both parties, too, as it may make Xhaka’s reported £100,000-a-week salary more affordable for the Magpies, while increasing the 27-year-old’s willingness to join.
Watch Newcastle United Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
With the prospect of a move on the cards, we asked our Football FanCast writers to share their views on the deal. Here’s what they had to say.
“If Newcastle is the standard of team that Xhaka is attracting then it’s incredibly damning on the Switzerland international and what he’s become. His stock will have dramatically decreased as a result of his neglect at Arsenal but there is no denying that this would be a considerable coup for the Magpies if he did make the switch.
“I think Granit Xhaka would be a fantastic short-term signing for Newcastle. He may not be a popular figure at Arsenal, but he is still more than good enough to do a job for a team in the Premier League.
“The 78 caps he has amassed for Switzerland, as well as appearing at two World Cups and one European Championships, shows he has experience that the Toon can only dream of.
“His leadership qualities are clearly appreciated by those both in and around the Emirates Stadium and the Swiss set-up, with him having taken the armband for both. Tenacious and energetic, his signing would be a coup for Steve Bruce, no matter what fans of the north London outfit think of him.”
“Xhaka would be a useful signing for Newcastle, but there are other areas they should deal with first before making a move for him, and that is because they already have the Longstaff brothers, Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden to fill the midfield area – so there is no shortage of depth.
“They should be focusing on bringing in players who will get on the score sheet, whether that be a back-up striker or goal-getting winger. If funds are left for his hefty wages after these positions are addressed then they can make a move, but the Switzerland international shouldn’t be the priority despite his availability.”
“While it could seem an odd move for both parties to make considering the factors at play, the signing of Xhaka has the potential to take Newcastle to the next level, even if it is only a short-term deal.
“They lack, and have for some time, a player of his experience and quality in the middle of the park, and with a new lease of life in new surroundings, we could see the best of what Xhaka has to offer.
“Current midfielders Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey have performed well of late, but their Newcastle career has been a story of inconsistency, and a dip in form for one or both of them could cause problems.
“Xhaka also provides the occasional goal from midfield, too, and the Magpies could sure do with that at the moment.”