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Switzerland's Granit Xhaka remains tight-lipped over Arsenal future

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka remains tight-lipped over Arsenal future
© Reuters
The 28-year-old has made 220 appearances for Arsenal since signing from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.

Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka insists speculation over his Arsenal future will not distract him at Euro 2020.

Xhaka has been heavily linked with a summer move to Roma and joining former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho at the Serie A club.

The 28-year-old midfielder has made 220 appearances for Arsenal since signing from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.

Arsenal v Fulham – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Granit Xhaka (right) has made 220 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club in 2016 (Julian Finney/PA)

"There are always rumours as soon as the transfer market opens but I don't want to talk about my future," Xhaka said ahead of Switzerland's opening Euro 2020 game with Wales in Baku on Saturday.

"I am 100 per cent focused here with the national team and I want to keep that until the end of the tournament.

"What happens afterwards, you will then get to know about it. Everything else doesn't distract me.

"I am fit and motivated and looking forward to doing a lot of things in this tournament for the team."

Switzerland Training and Press Conference – King Power Stadium
Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri will be a key player for Switzerland at Euro 2020 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Switzerland possess huge experience, with the 94-times-capped Xhaka supplemented by Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, Torino wing-back Ricardo Rodriguez and Newcastle centre-back Fabian Schar.

The Swiss have won all five of their games in 2021, with World Cup qualifying wins over Bulgaria and Lithuania and friendly victories against Finland, the United States and Liechtenstein.

Xhaka said on Switzerland's Euro 2020 prospects: "I have a good feeling. We've had a good, long preparation phase and are looking forward to the start.

"There are high expectations from the outside, the public expect a lot from us.

"We will take it step by step but the expectations are very high from ourselves."

Head coach Vladimir Petkovic has been in charge since 2014 and steered Switzerland to the last 16 of the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup.

Italy and Turkey complete the Group A line-up and Petkovic said: "Because it's the first match you don't know what level ourselves or Wales are at.

"But Wales are certainly tough opponents and deserve the greatest of respect. They are awkward customers.

"They are compact defensively and good one against one, but they also have a lot of quality in the final third with some prodigiously talented players who know what they're doing.

"But what we want to do is dominate proceedings, set the tempo and have a cutting edge in the final third."

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Wales' Aaron Ramsey during the warm up on June 5, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1010929
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78419
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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