Granit Xhaka has been linked with Arsenal
Granit Xhaka has been linked with Arsenal Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly confident of signing Borussia Monchengladbach's sought-after midfielder Granit Xhaka. The 23-year-old Swiss star has been linked to a host of clubs in recent months, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is said to have stolen a march on his rivals.

Xhaka is regarded as one of the best young midfielders in Europe and is apparently a long-term target of the north London club. Wenger is in desperate need of a player to fill the defensive midfield role this summer and the Frenchman sees Xhaka as the perfect candidate for the job.

Liverpool and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the eye-catching player, but Arsenal are leading the extensive queue for his signature, according to ESPN.

Arsenal have opened preliminary talks with Monchengladbach over a transfer, sources close to the situation have claimed. What's more, it is said Xhaka is keen on a move to Emirates Stadium, having previously stated his desire to play in the Premier League.

However, the eventual transfer fee may transpire to be a sticking point, with the German club demanding a fee of £34m ($48.8m) for their prized asset and Arsenal are not willing to pay more than £30m.

Earlier this year, Xhaka said it was his "childhood dream" to play in England. "That doesn't mean that I have to or would like to go there," he added. "I'm extremely happy here and everything suits me down to the ground – but you do have to take a look around and talk with the club. Gladbach have given me everything I wanted and this has become a second home for me."