By Alex Taylor
Arsenal target Shkodran Mustafi is currently in talks with several different teams about a move away from Valencia this summer, according to the defender’s father and agent Kujtim Mustafi.
The Germany international, 24, has emerged as a prime target for Arsene Wenger as he aims to bolster the Gunners’ defensive ranks after a spate of pre-season injuries have left them without Per Mertesacker and Gabriel for the opening months of the season.
Wenger has admitted that he is in the market for a defensive cover, and was forced to turn to rookie duo Rob Holding and Calum Chambers for the team’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.
“Very soon you will know about the future of Mustafi,” Kujtim told Goal. “Two or more clubs are in negotiations.”
Arsenal are currently believed to be front runners for the defender, while there is also interest from several unnamed European sides.
Sky Sports’ Spanish reporter Guillem Balague claimed on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday that the Spanish club are willing to cash in on the defender because of their financial issues.
Mustafi: VFC happy 2 sell for around €30m as they down €10m with FFP. But would rather sell others. AFC want him. Not sure he’s good enuf
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 16, 2016
Balague subsequently appeared on Sky Sports News to discuss Arsenal’s pursuit of Mustafi and was quoted on Tuesday evening on the personal Twitter account of Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solkehol saying that the player would be sold to the Gunners.
Sky expert Guillem Balague says Valencia will sell Arsenal target Mustafi for £26m. Arsenal want him. Valencia need money to comply with FFP
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 16, 2016
Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in a move, but talk of a hijack bid for the Gunners target was quickly dismissed by Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce.
Reports in the Daily Mail claim that Arsenal are thought to have verbally agreed personal terms with Mustafi but have fallen short of Valencia’s £30million valuation of the player.
German defender Mustafi has won 12 caps for his country after establishing himself as a regular for his La Liga side since his transfer from Sampdoria in 2014.
The former Everton academy graduate featured for the World Cup winners at Euro 2016 and scored in the opening match against Ukraine, which his team won 2-0.
Mustafi has three years left on his current deal in Spain, but could be tempted by a move to the Premier League.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are preparing to lodge a £30million bid for Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.