According to a couple of reports out of Spain, Arsenal are chasing the signature of Valencia center-back Shkodran Mustafi after last week saw an injury to Per Mertesacker that could keep the BFG out for most of the rest of this year. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already admitted that “We have to look for an option to get a bit more experience,” when speaking to the Dot Com on Wednesday.
Mustafi, a 24-year-old German international, would seem to fit that bill while also being young enough to be a long-term option at center-back as both Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are on the wrong side of 30. In 2015-16, Mustafi made 38 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals. More importantly, the last time Mustafi received a red card was in 2013-14 - a positive, considering that nearly all of Arsenal’s center-backs have struggled with occasional lapses in judgment leading to sendings-off in recent years. Mustafi has been with Valencia for the last two years after spending three years at Sampdoria in Italy, before which he had been with Everton’s academy beginning in 2009. He has made 12 appearances for Die Mannschaft.
The reports began with a Valencia-based web portal called Plaza Deportiva, who claimed that Arsenal have been in touch with Valencia about the German. According to that source, Mustafi would like to join Arsenal.
Valencia is apparently having something of a fire sale, being a bit hard up for cash. Another Spanish journalist tweeted:
Mustafi:— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) July 26, 2016
1) He isn’t available for €11m.
2) Valencia offered him to Milan, but NOT for €11m. Figures not discussed. Milan want Musacchio.
Just announced on @DepCOPEValencia, Mustafi has been made available for €25m by Valencia.— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) July 27, 2016
Finally, the Spanish newspaper Cadena Cope claims that Valencia are willing to sell the German, who will be returning from holiday shortly after spending the earlier part of the summer with his national team at Euro 2016.
As always, watch this space for more developments.