GRANIT XHAKA is a leading candidate to become the new Arsenal captain following Laurent Koscielny’s decision to go on strike.
Koscielny had been seen as the senior player within the Gunners squad by boss Unai Emery, who wanted him to play a leading role this season.
But the French defender’s refusal to travel to America on the pre-season tour has left Emery scratching around for possible successors.
With Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey both leaving the Emirates at the end of last season, there is a shortage of players capable of doing the job.
Xhaka, 26, is the obvious contender given he is a regular in the starting line-up in the heart of the midfield.
But Emery also suggests that Mesut Ozil could fill the role, despite him trying to off-load him this summer in an effort to reduce the wage bill at the club.
Emery said: “We have spoken about the captaincy. Last year we had Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech who have left us.
“And Laurent Koscielny, who has a contract, who he told us he wants to leave.
“I want between three and five captains in the team.
“We have Granit, we have Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal and there are other players who can also take this position.”
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Koscielny’s future at Arsenal now looks bleak, having three times snubbed the request of Emery to join the squad out in America.
The French defender wants to leave this summer and is trying to force a free transfer, even though he still has one year left on his contract.
One option to resolve the dispute would be for the defender to buy out the rest of his £90,000-a-week contract.