Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin is reportedly set to sign Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka in the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old midfielder had told the club he wants to leave and his future is uncertain after he clashed with the club’s supporters in October. Xhaka was immediately stripped of the captaincy after the incident and has made just three Premier League appearances since.
During a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, Xhaka was substituted by former manager Unai Emery. Reacting angrily to his removal, he cupped his ear as he stormed off the Emirates Stadium pitch. Xhaka also removed his shirt, gesturing toward the jeering crowd, and finally rejecting a handshake from his manager before storming down the tunnel.
News of the change was first greeted with ironic cheers and Arsenal fans quickly turned them to boos as Xhaka took his time to leave the field.
It is not the first time Xhaka has been booed by his own fans this season. He was booed by Arsenal fans against Aston Villa last month. And Emery publicly defended the Switzerland international after the game.
In a statement on Instagram, Xhaka said that he apologised to fans who felt that he disrespectful the club for swearing at those who had jeered him. He said that he wanted to offer “an explanation rather than just a quick response”.
According to reports, Hertha Berlin managed by former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann, is looking for a holding midfielder and they have identified Xhaka as a target and that club general manager Michael Preetz has been in England to discuss the move.
The German club are hoping to convince Xhaka and Arsenal to strike a deal with a “financially sensible package”. Also, a deal would likely be a loan for the rest of the season with an option to make the move permanent in the summer.