Xhaka to be sold by Arsenal following fall-out with fans - Paper Round
Granit Xhaka's days at Arsenal are numbered, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is attracting attention from Barcelona, James Rodriguez could be moving to the Premier League and Ibrahimovic has reportedly signed for AC Milan. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Xhaka set for Arsenal exit in January
Granit Xhaka is reportedly set for a January exit from the Emirates Stadium after recent events which saw him appear to swear at Arsenal fans and be stripped of the captaincy. The Mirror report that the Swiss international has accepted that his time in north London is up and will seek a move back to the Bundesliga in the winter transfer window. Xhaka was booed off as he was substituted in Arsenal's 2-2 home draw against Crystal Palace and swore at fans before heading straight down the tunnel. Xhaka was demoted as club captain and is yet to feature for the Gunners since the incident which happened in October.
Paper Round's view: It is widely believed by fans and football commentators that Xhaka shouldn't play for Arsenal again. It was an unfortunate reaction when emotions were running high, but as club captain Xhaka should've known better. Arsenal are historically a proud club and it would be slightly embarrassing for them to give the 27-year-old another chance, especially as he has shown he isn't even good enough to be playing for the Gunners. The Mirror state that Xhaka is "still highly-regarded in the Bundesliga", so maybe he can return and re-discover his confidence and form. It's unlikely that Arsenal will recoup the £34 million they spent on him, but that won't be their main worry.
...and the new captain could be leaving in January too
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was picked by manager Unai Emery to replace Xhaka as club captain, but he could also be on the move in January as well. The Express report that Barcelona are looking at bringing in Aubameyang, who is said to be having second thoughts about staying at the Emirates. The 30-year-old has attracted the attention of the Catalan club, with coach Ernesto Valverde planning to play Aubameyang on the left side of his attacking trio. The Gabonese forward could be tempted by the move, but only at the end of the season if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Paper Round's view: It's all falling apart at the Emirates. If Aubameyang follows Xhaka out the door in January it would be an absolute disaster for Emery. The side are so heavily reliant on their top goalscorer and they cannot afford to lose him - especially mid-season. However, if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League once again this term, it will be tough to see them hang onto their world-class stars. Aubameyang is now 30 years old and if he gets the chance to sign for Barcelona, why would he turn it down?
James Rodriguez moving to the Premier League?
Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez could be on the move again - this time permanently. The Sun report that the Colombian international is to be offloaded by the Spanish giants in January, with a host of Premier League clubs ready to pounce. Rodriguez recently spent two years on loan at Bayern Munich but failed to complete a permanent transfer away from Madrid last summer. Manchester United could be the club to make it happen, with Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane interested in using Rodriguez as a bargaining chip in his bid to bring Paul Pogba to the Bernabeu.
Paper Round's view: Rodriguez is a name that has constantly been linked with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United and Chelsea seem to have held long-term interest in the 28-year-old but neither club has ever taken the plunge, despite Real Madrid's desperation to sell him. He could thrive in this turgid United side which lacks creativity and goals. It's not difficult to remember how good Rodriguez was when he was at his best during the 2014 World Cup. It might've been a long time ago, but he still has the ability in his locker and he just needs the confidence and consistent game-time to show it.
Ibra is back in Milan
MLS commissioner Don Graber has declared that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has signed for AC Milan after leaving LA Galaxy. The former Swedish international has previously played in Italy for Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, and he is now set to return to the Rossoneri. Graber stated, "he is 38 years old and has now been signed by Milan, one of the biggest clubs in the world" in his claim that the Ibra transfer is a done deal. Zlatan won the Serie A title with Milan back in the 2010-11 season.
Paper Round's view: Ibrahimovic just can't stay away from Italy. He has spent periods at all three of the most successful clubs in Serie A. Napoli held interest in Ibrahimovic, but it wouldn't be surprising if he quickly made up his mind about returning to Milan as soon as he found out the club wanted him back. Milan are really struggling this season and could definitely use an injection of Ibra to help them jump up from a disappointing 11th place. The 38-year-old has vast amounts of experience and would certainly inspire the team to climb the table if he were to re-join.