Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka looks set to leave the club this summer.
The midfielder is expected to join Bayer Leverkusen, with Sunday’s clash against Wolves set to be his final game for the club, ending a chequered seven-year spell at Arsenal.
At 30, he is in the form of his career, having scored seven times in Arsenal’s sustained title challenge.
But manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu they are ready to let him depart, albeit for €15million, to potentially make way for transfer targets such as West Ham’s Declan Rice and Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo.
It could also be a farewell affair for the likes of Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and others.
Quizzed about his future in the wake of Arsenal’s latest defeat at Nottingham Forest, which assured the home club’s survival and Manchester City’s Premier League title, Xhaka confirmed he will let fans know before Sunday’s visit of Wolves.
He then reflected on a remarkable change in circumstances at Arsenal, having gone from nearly leaving the club as a fan villain – he was stripped of the captaincy in 2020 after a public fall out with supporters – to becoming one of their favourite players under Mikel Arteta.
“I think I grew up like a person, like a player and I got the respect back as well as from the fans. In the dressing room everything was always fine,” he said.
“I wanted to do something special this season, maybe with a title, but it’s not the time. Let’s see what the future speaks about it.
“It has been a special time. When I speak about special I mean about how I came back and my turnaround from three years ago.
“Maybe it’s the first in the history of the Premier League. It makes me proud, makes me happy as well. But this is my story, this is my path.
“Soon we know much more what will happen with my future. I will be thankful for the fans because of how they treat me after this. I didn’t expect that if I am honest.
“I am thankful for that and I want to give them something back [for] – maybe – my last game on Sunday.”
Xhaka’s parting message to the club’s board is to keep backing Arteta – especially in the transfer market this summer.
He concluded: “We played a great season but we have to keep going, we have to take the next step because it will be much more difficult next season than this season. We know that.
“That’s why the board and the coach will decide what will happen – but as players we have to be ready for everything.”