According to BBC Sport, Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. The German international looked set to stay at the Mestalla Stadium this summer with Arsenal previously failing to meet Valencia’s asking price, but a fee of £35M has been agreed and personal terms were finalised days earlier.
Mustafi was the number one target on the Gunners’ shortlist after losing Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista to long-term injuries, and manager Arsene Wenger will be looking to develop him in the coming years to reach the level of Laurent Koscielny. The 24-year-old has the potential, representing his country in the 2016 European Championships, and has been keen to push the deal through.
Bolton Wanderers defender Rob Holding was brought in this summer to provide competition at the back, along with Calum Chambers and Laurent Koscielny, and impressed in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Leicester City. However, the need for experience next to Koscielny has seen the Londoners target another centre-back as the average age of three of Arsenal’s backline in their Premier League opener was 21.
Mustafi is highly-rated in La Liga, and earned a call-up to the German national team squad for Euro 2016 as a result of his rise to prominence. His arrival would take spending in excess of £100M this summer, and would be the final gap in the side that Arsenal needed to fill.