Steve Bruce has labelled Granit Xhaka a ‘very good player’ after reports broke suggesting that Newcastle United could make a shock bid to rescue the dethroned Arsenal captain in the January transfer window.
Xhaka was stripped of the armband this week following his very public meltdown against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago, when he reacted to boos from the Gunners ‘supporters’ by flailing his arms, cupping his ears and storming down the tunnel while turning the north London air a deep shade of blue.
It seems very unlikely that the Swiss international, who had already been something of a scapegoat, will ever be able to rebuild his reputation at the Emirates and The Times believe that Newcastle could offer him an unlikely lifeline.
Bruce is apparently a big fan of Xhaka and the Magpies boss did little to dispel that notion in his Friday press conference.
"Granit Xhaka? He is a very good player,” Bruce told The Chronicle.
It remains to be seen how much Arsenal would be willing to accept for a player they bought for £30 million from Borussia Monchengladbach three years ago (Sky Sports) – and what sort of wages Newcastle could reasonably offer.
Xhaka currently earns £130,000-a-week, The Times adds. But if Mike Ashley is willing to put his hand in his pocket, he could bring an established international performer with 78 Switzerland caps to St James’ Park.
Say what you want about Xhaka, he would be a big coup for Newcastle. And, who knows, he might even thrive in front of supporters more likely to cheer their players than jeer them.
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