Arsenal's Granit Xhaka looks dejected after their match against Brighton & Hove Albion. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

CAPE TOWN – Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is fuming after being told by the club’s new manager that he can only leave at the end of the season.

Xhaka, who was stripped of the captaincy in November after clashing with the club’s fans, was keen on leaving the North Londoners during the January transfer window and had already agreed terms with German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

But, new boss Mikel Arteta has poured cold water on the move, claiming the Swiss midfielder won’t be allowed to leave until the end of the season.

Arteta spoke about how much he liked Xhaka, claiming he was someone they looked at when he was still Pep Guardiola’s number two at Manchester City.

“As a player, when I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching, and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list.

“This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player,” said Arteta.

“He has done some really good tings and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded.

“But I have been amazed as well by how his relationship is starting to come back a little and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him, and him as well.

“Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenarion from where he was a magnaficient one. But I think we are in the right direction with him,” he added.

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