Shkodran Mustafi has completed his Arsenal medical and will sign a five-year contract with the club, according to Sky Sports Germany reporter Marc Behrenbeck.
No details of the transfer fee or wage were included in this update. The fee has been reported to be north of £35 million.
— Marc Behrenbeck (@Sky_Marc) August 27, 2016
The Gunners have been in the hunt for the defender for much of the summer and it appeared earlier last week that the deal might have stalled with reports stating that the Spanish club are demanding to pay his full release clause. However, the clubs seems to have agreed on a deal finally.
The North London club are facing a defensive crisis at the back after Mertesacker and Gabriel are expected to spend plenty of time on the treatment table.
A positive point for Arsenal is that Valencia may be forced into selling their star center back, in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations. Despite the financial pressure, the Spanish side has still bought Portuguese winger Nani and Spanish midfielder Mario Suarez, but the club’s sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch has admitted that his club will have to balance their books in order to get them officially registered.
Hence Arsenal might get him for a decent bid (of around £10-12m) less than the original ‘£50m’ price tag set for him by his current employers. It is still unknown as to how much Wenger will be interested in bidding for his current primary target after an initial bid of £25m was rejected earlier this month.
Mustafi has also emerged on the transfer radar of Chelsea recently, and so Arsenal must sneak in and make things interesting. We do not know how long Mertesacker is out for, but even with him back in shape, Arsenal are certainly in need of a new defender. Mertesacker’s and Gabriel’s injury should merely push the issue.
Rob Holding is a fantastic future option but Mustafi is clearly a more experienced and proven player, a present day contender for that second central defensive role. Let us hope that we get the reported £26m Mustafi deal done sooner than later so that our bid to attain Premier League glory this season ends in a fruitful manner.