According to Sky Sports, Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague believes Arsenal’s pursuit for Shkodran Mustafi has hit a stumbling block over the asking price, which could see the deal not going through before the end of the summer transfer window. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed his hope that the protracted transfer would be complete by the weekend, but Balague says otherwise.
“The coaching staff at Valencia think Mustafi will not go, and this is the same message being made by Valencia,” he said. “They insist the only way Mustafi will be allowed to leave is if Arsenal trigger his €50m (£43.1m) buy-out clause, which I think everybody will agree is too much money for him.
“Valencia’s position is such because they don’t think they can find someone to replace him, given the proximity of transfer deadline day. It’s a similar stance to the one they have with Barcelona target Paco Alcacer, or at least that’s the message they are giving out.
“So, as things stand, neither Mustafi nor Alcacer will be leaving Valencia. I heard Arsene Wenger confirm publicly that Arsenal were in negotiations for Mustafi. That’s very rare for him to do so. Perhaps he is trying to apply some pressure on Valencia to sell.
“Valencia have had difficulties with Financial Fair Play, but that has improved recently. They still need to sell one or two players, but they would rather part with the likes of Aderlan Santos or Lucas Orban, sales which they believe would bring the club in line with the regulations. So they are not as desperate as some are making them out to be.”
Arsenal are without Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista, with the two centre-backs out for a number of months, but Arsene Wenger publicly praised summer-signing Rob Holding for his performance at the back. With Holding, Calum Chambers, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny as options in central defence, Wenger appears content with his options and won’t overpay for Mustafi.