With German defender Per Mertesacker out until new year, and Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista out until October, Arsenal desperately need a central defender.
The North London club has been priced out in its attempts to sign other defenders, and according to them, Valencia’s German international Shkodran Mustafi is the only viable option.
Mustafi began his career in the youth ranks of Hamburger SV, and then the English club Everton, where he made one substitute appearance in two-and-a-half-years before leaving to Sampdoria in January 2012.
On 7 August 2014, Mustafi signed a five-year deal with Spanish club Valencia CF, for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around €8m. Since then, Mustafi has made 78 appearances for the La Liga club, scoring 6 goals in the process.
Valencia had a dismal 2015-2016 season, finishing 12th in the league. As a result, Valencia are being forced to offload some players to stay in line of the financial regulations.
They recently sold Andre Gomes – who won the Euro 2016 with Portugal – to Barcelona for a fee of over €50m.
The North London club has been given a boost in their chase for Mustafi, as Valencia have hinted that they’ll have to sell the German for the sake of balancing the books, according to English media outlet Daily Mirror.
Valencia’s chief hinted at the sale of Mustafi in a recent interview.
Valencia chief Garcia Pitarch said: “We’re above the FFP guidelines, that’s the reality, and as of today, the four players we’ve signed cannot be registered, meaning we need to reduce the cost in a significant manner to register the players and sign a centre-back, which is a priority in case one of the ones at our club leaves.”
Arsenal are looking to wrap up the transfer deal for £20m.