Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has all but confirmed that deals for German centre-back Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish center forward Lucas Perez are close to completion, while club’s English youth defender Calum Chambers looks set to depart the gunners on loan.
Wenger is reportedly close to fully confident that Arsenal will sign new players before the end of the 2016 summer transfer window.
In Friday’s press conference ahead of the weekend’s Premier League game Wenger said the following: (source: Arsenal.com)
“We are working on the deals, but we are not close enough to announce today," the 66-year old Frenchman told the reporters gathered inside Arsenal’s media room.
“Will we sign anyone before the window closes? I’m 99 percent confident.It was a strange transfer market, I expected it to be easier than ever, but it has been more difficult than ever."
“It looks like it will be frenetic in the last three days, everyone has sat on their money but we know they will all splash out now."
With fellow English youth centre-back, Rob Holding recently bulking up the defense, fellow Englishman Calum Chambers’ future has been thrown into major doubt. And now with the imminent Mustafi signing, Chambers’ Arsenal career is caught up in further jeopardy. However, Wenger said:
“His future is not affected, but he could go out on loan."
With both the expected deals looking likely to be tied up before the weekend, there will be more than enough time for Chambers to seal a loan move elsewhere. Wenger concluded by saying that:
“We have a big squad, we cannot have more players anyway, hence few of them might be sent out on loan."
And finally on asked if Chambers’s Arsenal future could be affected by Mustafi’s arrival, Wenger replied:
“Future? No. The fact that he could go out somewhere and play? Yes."
Arsenal, who currently sit in 13th place in the Premier League table without a single win visit 14th placed Watford FC on Saturday. Chambers earned a start in Arsenal’s injury stricken defense with Rob Holding against Liverpool on the opening weekend but was left out for the goalless draw at Leicester last Saturday. He would reportedly prefer a move to either Italy or Spain on loan this summer.
Certain claims suggested that Wenger is ready to let the 21-year-old defender leave on a permanent deal but the Arsenal boss has clearly denied it. With Mustafi now close to arriving at Arsenal, Chambers is willing to go abroad in search of more game time, according to Bleacher Report journalist Dean Jones. Premier League sides Stoke and West Brom are also said to be interested in signing him.
Chambers joined the Gunners from Southampton FC for £16 million in July 2014 and immediately impressed at the heart of the defense, going on to make 36 appearances in his debut season. However, Gabriel Paulista’s arrival from Villarreal in January 2015 signaled a change in fortune for the young defender who was pushed down the pecking order and had to make do with a few starts as a backup to Hector Bellerin at the right-back position.
Hence now a loan move elsewhere seems like the best possible option for Chambers to prove himself at the highest level and come back stronger next season as he is expected to become Per Mertesacker’s long term replacement. Whatever happens in the last 5 days of the summer transfer window let us hope that it is for the good of the club. Come on you gunners.