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Xhaka planning bid for Arsenal captaincy, not a summer switch elsewhere

16:26 EAT 10/06/2019
Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2018/19
The Switzerland international midfielder is tied to a long-term contract with the Gunners and intends to stick around and honour that agreement

Granit Xhaka has shut down any talk of him leaving Arsenal this summer, with the combative midfielder hoping to inherit the Gunners’ captain’s armband at some stage.

The Switzerland international has been at Emirates Stadium since 2016.

Across three seasons, he has taken in over 100 appearances and been a regular under both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.

Questions have been asked of his temperament at times, amid a penchant for picking up cards, while a move away from north London has now been mooted.

That, though, is news to Xhaka, with the 26-year-old tied to a long-term deal with Arsenal and happy to honour it.

Asked by Blick if intends to move on in the current transfer window, he said: "Not that I know.

"I have another four years' contract, I only signed last year. I'm happy there, my family too. That's the most important thing."

Quizzed on whether he would like to become skipper if he remains with the Gunners, Xhaka added: “It would certainly be the dot on the i.”

The 2018-19 campaign has now come to a close for Xhaka.

Having suffered Europa League heartache with Arsenal, he then tasted Nations League semi-final pain with Switzerland.

A penalty shootout defeat to England in a third-place play-off then condemned the Swiss to fourth spot, but that is considered to be positive progress by those involved.

Xhaka said: “That we have performed like this after such a long season, with so much desire and commitment makes you proud. 

“We were able to compete with two good teams. And the format of the Nations League I find much better than friendlies. 

“We are not so far away from the big teams, just a little bit is still missing. I'm convinced that we can do something at a big tournament against a big team.”

Switzerland are in Euro 2020 qualification Group D alongside the Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Denmark and Gibraltar.

They have taken four points from two games so far and will be back in action on September 5 when taking in a trip to Dublin.