Granit Xhaka: Arsenal midfielder remains a 'key part' of Mikel Arteta's plans despite Roma talks

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has returned for pre-season training and remains a “key part” of Mikel Arteta’s plans this season.

Roma made offers to sign the Swiss midfielder this summer – and while a transfer looked likely, Arsenal’s valuation was never met by the Serie A side.

Despite Roma’s efforts throughout the summer, it is believed a potential deal was off the table weeks ago.

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While it may appear to be a U-turn by Arsenal, it is thought Arteta never wanted to let Xhaka go having initially convinced him to stay in January 2020.

Xhaka started 29 Premier League games for Arsenal last season, the only outfield player who started more was Bukayo Saka (30).

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Xhaka’s current Arsenal contract is up in 2023 and the club will want his future sorted one way or another soon with a contract extension not being ruled out.

Arsenal are interested in signing James Maddison from Leicester City but are still monitoring Martin Odegaard’s situation at Real Madrid, as they look to bring in an attacking midfielder this summer.

The Gunners also remain interested in doing a deal for Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale with discussions over a fee continuing through intermediaries.

Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that there is an interest in Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, with Arsenal preferring a loan move.

Meanwhile, Ben White’s £50m move from Brighton is expected to be announced imminently.

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