Arsenal have stepped up their attempts to land Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka in the summer.
The Gunners have opened talks with the Swiss star’s German club and are believed to have made an opening offer worth around £24m for the midfielder.
Monchengladbach are holding out for £32m but Arsenal are understood to be confident of reaching an agreement with the Bundesliga side, without necessarily reaching the initial asking price.
Arsenal’s early move is a sign of their determination to try to get a deal for Xhaka tied up as soon as possible, ahead of the 2016/17 Premier League season, and they believe the fee would also be a statement of intent.
Wenger has signed only two players for higher than his first bid for Xhaka – Mesut Ozil for £42.5m from Real Madrid and Alexis Sanchez for £32m from Barcelona.
Xhaka has emerged as one of Wenger’s principle midfield targets with Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta all set to leave this summer, leaving them short in the central midfield areas.
Xhaka is renowned in Germany for his leadership qualities and passing ability, which has been evident since he joined Monchengladbach.
Despite being just 23 years of age, he boasts plenty of experience having been capped 40 times already by his country and played over 200 club games for Swiss outfit Basel and Monchengladbach.
And Wenger has been convinced to move for Xhaka after having him watched more than 30 times this season, with a move now imminent.