NEWCASTLE UNITED’S hopes of signing Granit Xhaka in January have suffered a blow, with Arsenal hoping to use the Swiss international as a makeweight in deals of their own.

Xhaka’s Arsenal career is all but at an end after he disrespected his own fans as he was booed from the field at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month, with Unai Emery accepting it will be just about impossible to reintroduce him to the fold.

Magpies manager Steve Bruce is ready to offer Xhaka a loan move to Tyneside for the second half of the season, with Lee Charnley understood to be willing to sanction such a deal if it could be agreed.

However, Emery and the rest of Arsenal’s recruitment team appear to have their own ideas for what to do with the midfielder in January, with Xhaka set to be offered as part of a deal for the Gunners’ own transfer targets.

Arsenal are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, and are ready to include Xhaka in a deal for the highly-rated Switzerland international.

It has even been suggested that Arsenal would be willing to pay a proportion of Xhaka’s wages if it enabled them to push through a deal for Zakaria, who they regard as a younger, more athletic version of the player that would be leaving.

Such a deal would end Newcastle’s hopes of engineering an agreement of their own, as they are not in a position where they could consider a permanent deal for Xhaka. Their offer would be a loan deal that would enable Xhaka to continue playing in the Premier League in the second half of the season, but as things stand, that is not Arsenal’s preferred option.

Bruce is set to step up his recruitment planning in the next couple of weeks, with Portuguese youngster Aurelio Buta the latest player to be linked with a possible move to Tyneside.

Newcastle scouts have watched the 22-year-old right-back in action for Belgian side Royal Antwerp, but the Magpies will face stiff competition from Wolves if they opt to make a move, with their Premier League rivals having opened discussions about a January loan move.