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Arsenal close to signing German star in £20m deal [The Times]
According to the Times, Arsenal are on the verge of securing a £20m deal to sign Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.
The German international has been strongly linked with a move to north London this summer with Sky Sports News reporting last month that we’d opened talks with Valencia over a potential deal.
We’ve now stepped-up our interest after Arsene Wenger made signing a new centre-back his priority following Gabriel’s untimely injury, with the Brazilian international ruled out for up to eight weeks with an ankle problem.
It looks like a deal is now on the verge of being agreed as the Times claim that negotiations between Arsenal and Valencia are coming to a close with a £20m deal set to be agreed.
Mustafi was left out of the Valencia squad for their friendly with a Nigerian All-Star side last night as the 24-year-old prepared to make a move to the Emirates.
However, the newspaper suggest that it’s unlikely we’ll have time to get a medical done and the transfer registered with the FA in time for Mustafi to be eligible to face Liverpool on Sunday.
Therefore, Wenger may still be forced to rush Laurent Koscielny back in to action despite the Frenchman only returning to pre-season training on Monday following his exploits at Euro 2016.
One of Rob Holding or Calum Chambers is expected to start in our Premier League opener and if Arsene opts against rushing Koscielny back, then he may choose to move Nacho Monreal in to the middle of defence with Kieran Gibbs coming in at left-back.
Either way, it looks like we’re closing in on the signing of Mustafi and while it’s a shame he won’t be able to play against Liverpool, I think he’ll turn out to be an excellent signing for the club.
The German international has developed in to one of the best defenders in Spanish football since joining Valencia two years ago and I think he has all the attributes needed to be a real hit at Arsenal.