It seems there’s no end to the Mustafi to Arsenal saga, with multiple reports every hour contradicting each other and here comes another update.
Sky Sports journalist Kaveh has revealed that the defender along with his agent have held crunch talks with Valencia to push through a move to the North London club.
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, it seems Valencia have finally budged on their demands with Solhekol claiming that the club are ready to accept a bid in excess of £26m.
Here is the tweet from Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solhekol on his official Twitter handle.
Mustafi & agent met Valencia officials yesterday. Told he can leave if adequate offer made. Suggestion Arsenal deal could be agreed at £26m
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 24, 2016
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.
His other options are namely West Brom’s Jonny Evans, Fenerbache’s Simon Kjaer and Omer Toprak of Bayer Leverkusen with Atletico Madrid’s ‘costly’ defender Jose Gimenez also being monitored.
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.