The ‘urgency’ with which Wenger is being expected to act in the transfer market could not have swelled up more after injuries to Gabriel Paulista and newly appointed captain Per Mertesacker have made Arsenal multi task in trying to bring new players on board.
Most fans, experts and journalists would agree that a central defender was a position that must be beefed up even prior to these unfortunate injuries, but the need for at least one new central defender has now become a top priority for Arsene Wenger (or at least should be).
Let us not forget that Arsenal are also in the market for a striker, though the club have not come close to signing a player in that position, both due to an admissibly an inflated transfer market, as well as the club’s reluctance to over pay for players.
As if it was not enough, Manchester City’s purchase of John Stones for a reported 47m has sky rocketed the prices in the market a lot further, especially for players in defense.
In this context, Arsenal have been consistently linked with German international Shkodran Mustafi, with many reports claiming that a a deal could be imminent.
However, provided that a deal involving Arsenal can at any point falter, or in fact, a deal involving any club ( unless you have all the money in the world) can possibly collapse, Arsenal are working on a plan B to solve their current defensive crisis.
According to a report in The Express , Arsenal could turn to French international and Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu if a deal for Shkodran Mustafi collapses. The report has quoted it’s source to be bookmakers Betstars, who according to this report have cited Arsenal “being found at odds of 5/4” to sign the French defender.
The report also quoted a Betstars spokesman, who had this to say about the possibility of Arsenal signing the Frenchman:
“There’s been a lot of talk about Shkodran Mustafi moving to Arsenal but our odds suggest another defender could also be on his way to the Emirates”
“Arsenal have emerged as the 5/4 frontrunners to sign Jeremy Mathieu from Barcelona and, with the French defender deemed surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this deal go through before the window closes.”
And now it is clear that The Express are not the only ones who have covered this particular transfer. The Mirror too has now reported that Mathieu could be a top transfer target for Arsenal. The report claims that Barcelona would be ready to let Mathieu leave for a 10.4m fee.
Jeremy Mathieu, who joined Barcelona from Valencia for £20million in 2014, has made 75 appearances for the La Liga giants, but has now found himself fall behind in the pecking order at Nou Camp with Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano all ahead of him for the centre back role.