Bayer Leverkusen chief responds to Arsenal links to Edmond Tapsoba

The defender has impressed in the Bundesliga (Picture: Getty Images)

Bayer Leverkusen plan on Edmond Tapsoba playing a ‘very important role’ for the club next season, according to their sporting director Simon Rolfes.

The 22-year-old defender has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer after impressing in Germany’s top flight.

Mikel Arteta is expected to overhaul his squad in the upcoming transfer window after the Gunners finished in eighth place and missed out on European football for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Arteta is plotting a summer overhaul (Picture: Getty Images)

The Spanish boss will lose centre-back David Luiz when his contract expires at the end of June, while £27m signing William Saliba will return following the conclusion of his short-term loan at nice.

But when quizzed on Arsenal’s reported interest in Burkina Faso international Tapsoba, Leverkusen chief Rolfes insisted he is set to stay at the Bundesliga club.

‘Edmond should also play a very important role for us next season,’ Rolfes told BILD.

German publication BILD add that Leverkusen’s stance is unlikely to change unless a mega offer in excess of €70million (£60m) is tabled, which could shift things.

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka has opened the door to joining Jose Mourinho at Roma this summer.

The Arsenal midfielder is said to have been made a priority signing by the ex-Spurs manager, and Xhaka admitted he was flattered by Mourinho’s interest.

‘Of course I read the rumours too,‘ Xhaka told Blick.

‘But now I’m one hundred per cent focused on the national team. That’s more important than Arsenal or rumours right now.

‘I still have a two-year contract in London. And at Arsenal they know what they got in me. When the time comes and we can, may or have to talk about a transfer, I’ll be here.”

‘Honestly: I didn’t hear what Mourinho said. But that makes you proud. Everyone knows Mourinho, knows what he has achieved. Mourinho knows how to win titles. You can now see what work I have done over the past few years.’

MORE : Watford eyeing-up cut-price move for Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah

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