Stripped of the captaincy, out of the team and the target of toxic abuse from many of Arsenal’s fans, it would be no small understatement to state that Granit Xhaka is a mite concerned about his future – or apparent lack thereof – at the club. With the European Championships ahoy he wants regular first-team football to guarantee his place in the Switzerland squad and may well seek a move in January if Unai Emery continues to keep him sidelined. His departure seems inevitable, as it is difficult to see him weaselling – or indeed having any interest in weaselling – his way back into what passes for the good books of Arsenal’s perennially dissatisfied supporters.
While Xhaka has widely assumed to be plotting a move back to the Bundesliga, the Times reports that Steve Bruce is “ready to offer him a lifeline” by handing him the opportunity to play in front of another set of constantly aggrieved fans by bringing him to Newcastle. While speculation surrounding Xhaka’s imminent departure is unlikely to bother Gooners who dished it out at the Emirates, only to clutch their pearls like Victorian ladies upon getting some back, they are likely to be more disturbed by whispers emanating from the Catalan press linking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Barcelona. The Spanish champions see the Gabon international as the ideal replacement for Luis Suárez, who could be off to play MLS now his superpowers are waning.
In further bad news for Arsenal fans, midfielder Lucas Torreira is believed to be unhappy with the lack of first team action he’s been getting and is ready to hold showdown talks with Emery next week. With just three Premier League starts to his name so far this season, the Uruguayan is expected to ask for reassurances that he will get more game time or agitate for a move in January. Arsenal are apparently more eager to give minutes to Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Martin Hinteregger but will face competition for the Austrian international’s signature from West Ham.
James Rodriguez’s time as a Real Madrid player looks set to come to an end in January, when there is likely to be no shortage of interest in the Colombian international. Manchester United is being cited as one possible destination for the 28-year-old midfielder, who could move to Old Trafford in a player-plus-cash swap for Paul Pogba. Elsewhere in Spain, Ivan Rakitic remains surplus to requirements at Barcelona and could move to United or Milan. In other big-name news, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will soon be out of contract at LA Galaxy and available for more work – MLS head honcho Don Garber says the striker’s former club Milan are trying to bring him back to Italy.
Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant is turning heads at Bournemouth and Wolves, who are both expected to move for the 22-year-old Londoner at the turn of the year. With nine goals to his name in 15 appearances for the Terriers so far this season, he is likely to have no shortage of suitors.
And finally, in the world of women’s football, Australia star Sam Kerr is Europe-bound but has yet to divulge where it is she’ll be plying her trade. “It’s been a long process for me for a few years in making this decision,” said the 26-year-old Matilda who has been linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid. “I’ll be able to make that decision in the next week or so and be really confident in that. There’s been a few options I’ve looked closely at, but I’ve cut it down to one or two.”