Arsenal star tells Mikel Arteta he wants to leave this summer

Granit Xhaka has decided to leave Arsenal at the end of the season and is close to agreeing a move to Bayer Leverkusen, according to reports.

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The 30-year-old has played a key role in Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge this season, scoring five goals and registering seven assists so far.

Xhaka still has one year remaining on his current deal with the Gunners but the midfielder is now set to depart the club after seven years.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Leverkusen are now in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Xhaka in a €15 million (£13m) deal and personal terms are ‘almost agreed’.

Meanwhile, LondonWorld reports that Xhaka has already informed Arteta about his decision to leave, while the Arsenal manager will approve the Switzerland international’s exit if an acceptable offer is received.

Elsewhere, Sky Germany report that Xhaka is the top target for Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso, who is looking to add experienced players to his squad.

Xhaka appeared to be on course for a move away from Arsenal three years ago after he was stripped of the captaincy and booed by his own supporters.

But the midfielder says Arteta was the decisive factor behind his decision to stay.

‘There was one guy, his name is Mikel Arteta. ‘I will always support him, it doesn’t matter what happens,’ Xhaka said in an interview with beIN Sports earlier this season.

‘Without him, I am 100 per cent sure I would not be in the club anymore.

‘He knows that, I have a very good and honest relationship with him. It doesn’t matter what happens on the pitch, I will never ever be against him or say something against him.

‘He deserves my respect, but the respect from my family as well. I was gone. I did not want to wear the shirt anymore. He gave me the feeling to do it again.

‘I am very proud of myself to wear the shirt again with a lot of respect and love, hopefully we can end this with a trophy.’

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