Arsenal

TURIN, ITALY - OCTOBER 21:  Granit Xhaka captain of VfL Borussia Monchengladbach wearing a 'No To Racism' arm band during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Juventus and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Juventus Arena on October 21, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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Arsenal complete $45 million signing of Granit Xhaka

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Arsenal has completed the third biggest transfer in their history as Granit Xhaka has joined from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee believed to be around $45 million.

[ MORE: Mourinho in talks with United ]    

Xhaka, 23, is a Swiss international midfielder and Arsene Wenger has been tracking the powerful box-to-box player for many years.

He will officially be an Arsenal player from July 1 and has signed a long-term deal at the club.

[ MORE: PL money table 2015-16

Speaking to the club website, Xhaka is delighted to have arrived at the Emirates Stadium and explained to Arsenal’s fans a little of what he’s about.

“I am very happy to be here. For me it is a dream come true,” Xhaka said. “I am a player who likes to play football and I am an aggressive player, maybe a leader. I’m only 23 but I was in Germany and captain of a good team.”

Wenger also revealed the extend of Arsenal’s scouting of the former Basel midfielder.

“Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience,” Wenger said. “We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad. We wish Granit a good Euro 2016 with Switzerland and look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal ahead of next season.”

Xhaka will slot straight into Arsenal’s central midfield area which now has considerable competition.

With Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny due to be his main competitor for playing time, the fact that Arsenal has shelled out nearly $50  million to land Xhaka tells you that he will likely be a starter. Then, the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla will all have to fight to get a spot alongside him in central midfield.

After Arsenal finished second in the 2015-16 PL table, something which disappointing fans with Leicester City winning the title by 10 points, Wenger has started his business early and has sealed the deal for Xhaka before he heads to the 2016 European Championships in France as a key member of Switzerland’s team.

Gunners fans will be licking their lips as Wenger has been backed in the transfer market and has added power and substance to central midfield. That’s something they’ve been crying out for now for many years.

Is Xhaka the missing piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal search for their first PL trophy in 13 years? Perhaps another striker and center back will persuade many that they will be the favorites to win the PL in 2016-17 but Xhaka’s arrival is a huge sign of their intent to kick on next season.

PHOTOS: Arsenal release new kit for 2016-17 season

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's third and hat trick goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on May 15, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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It’s been leaked quite a bit over the past few weeks but finally Arsenal have released its new home kit for the 2016-17 season.

On Monday the north London club posted photos of the new Puma jersey which you can see below.

[ PHOTOS: New PL kits for 2016-17 ]

With a darker red stripe running through the middle, the 2015-16 PL runners up have slightly altered the design from their usual plain red jerseys.

The Gunners will also release a new away and third kit soon.

Let us know what you think about the jersey in the comments section below, and you can find a full gallery of the confirmed new PL jerseys for next season by clicking on the link above.


 

Transfer rumor roundup: Bundesliga young guns to Liverpool, Man City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24:  Leroy Sane of FC Schalke 04 during the UEFA Youth League Round of 16 match between Manchester City FC and FC Schalke 04 at City Football Academy on February 24, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
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With new managers set for Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and seemingly Manchester United, this is going to be a bonkers summer for transfer rumors.

Think of the names that could depart Premier League clubs, let alone join from other countries; The futures of Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke and Yaya Toure appear elsewhere, but what about Diego Costa, David Silva and players of that ilk?

[ MORE: JPW from Wembley on United’s win ]

Gonzalo Higuain has been tipped for Chelsea, but Le Parisien says the Argentine star could be part of the plan to replace Zlatan Ibrahomivic at PSG. Higuain scored a Serie A record 36 goals at Napoli this season, and the asking price is said to be close to $100 million. With Zlatan leaving, PSG won’t be shy about making a splashy statement of intent.

With 24-year-old Joel Matip already en route to Liverpool, could the Reds be looking to make it a German pair of center backs for the long-term? According to the Liverpool Echo, Hoffenheim’s Niklas Sule, 20, is said to be a target of Jurgen Klopp‘s, and another rumor has the Reds looking to Leicester for a man to sit in front of them: Danny Drinkwater.

The Bundesliga invasion of England could also include Leroy Sane, as Pep Guardiola is said to think $50 million is a-okay to bring the Schalke prospect to Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger is admittedly in the market for something we all knew he was already in the market for: another striker. Danny Welbeck‘s long-term absence has keyed Arsenal’s pursuit of Southampton’s Sadio Mane, who’s not quite a striker but perhaps fits the bill according to the London Evening Standard. The Independent says the Gunners are prepared to make Alvaro Morata their highest paid player, with the 23-year-old netting 36 goals in the last three seasons between Real Madrid and Juventus.

West Ham could be looking to raid Newcastle United for Moussa Sissoko, though the powerful-if-mercurial midfielder is said to have a $30 million price tag.

Wojciech Szczesny won’t reveal future plans, praises Roma boss Spalletti

GENOA, ITALY - MAY 02:  Wojciech Szczesny of AS Roma celebrates victory at the end of the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and AS Roma at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 2, 2016 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
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On-loan goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny wasn’t letting his summer plans slip, with his future caught between parent club Arsenal and last season’s home Roma. But he had some seriously high praise for the Italian side and its current manager.

The 26-year-old told Italian newspaper Il Tempo, “I learned more in four months under [Roma manager Luciano] Spalletti than in 10 years in England.”

“He puts a lot of importance on playing the ball to feet. One day we trained for over 45 minutes just on goal kicks. I really get on with goalkeeping coach [Guido] Nanni too, as he is a great professional and I never get bored. We’ve got a strong friendship. If I have made steps forward in my career, it is thanks to him.”

However, amid the praise for his Italian loan side, Szczesny stopped short of saying where he hoped to be next season or where he thought was most realistic. “I know where I will be playing next season, but I won’t tell,” he said.

There seem to be multiple options on the table for Szczesny. He can obviously return to Arsenal and compete with Petr Cech and David Ospina for next season’s starting spot, but with Cech still performing as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers at 34 years old, that seems to be a losing battle.

If Sczcesny wishes to stay at Roma, recent reports have tabbed his price tag at around $22 million, which the Italian club has found difficulty justifying. However, there is also noise that the Gunners would be willing to allow Roma to renew his loan for another season should they be willing to pay his wages in full.

The Polish netminder has said in the recent past he wishes to stay at Roma.

Report: Leaked photos appear to show new Arsenal kit and new signing Xhaka

TURIN, ITALY - OCTOBER 21:  Granit Xhaka captain of VfL Borussia Monchengladbach wearing a 'No To Racism' arm band during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Juventus and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Juventus Arena on October 21, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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One leak may have brought two big pieces of Arsenal news down in one fell swoop.

Leaked photos making the rounds on Twitter seem to not only confirm a widely-speculated Gunners transfer but also give us a look at Arsenal’s new home kit.

Granit Xhaka’s move to Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach has been the worst kept secret in European soccer for nearly a week now. But without official confirmation, we may just have as close to that as possible.

The Swiss midfielder was photographed doing his introductory business with the Gunners following the presumptuous completion of his transfer to the Emirates, with the photographs reportedly taken by his girlfriend. Those photos have made their way to the internet, preempting the club from being the first to announce his transfer.

The leak also confirms earlier speculation on the new Arsenal home kit, which was accidentally put on sale five days ago by an over-eager Australian retailer. That leak also appeared to show the away and third kits as well, with a yellow away kit with black shoulders alongside a third kit that was limited in its reveal but look to have a navy blue background with bright neon yellow accents.

ESPN reports that while Arsenal would not confirm the authenticity of the leaked photos, Xhaka is indeed at the Gunners facilities to take a medical and agree to personal terms.

Obviously, nothing is confirmed here, and plenty of Twitter and other internet leaks have been misleading in the past, but this appears quite legitimate.