By Germany correspondent Hans Matthias

Arsenal have opened talks with Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi in a deal that could be worth £33.4million, according to a report.

Sky Germany have claimed, as cited by the Sky Sports transfer blog at 8.26pm on Thursday, that the Gunners are working on a deal to sign the Germany centre-back.

It is said that Mustafi has a release clause of £42million, but the report says that Arsenal may be able to sign the German for £25million plus £8.4million in add-ons.

Arsene Wenger’s side have been tracking the centre-back for some time and the report says that the Gunners made an enquiry as to the availability of the former World Cup winner, but are yet to lodge a formal offer.

Mustafi trained with his Valencia team-mates for the first time on Thursday since Euro 2016 and his agent will fly to Spain to discuss the transfer fee in the deal that would take him to Arsenal.

The north London outfit have been looking to bolster their defensive ranks after a spate of pre-season injuries have left them short at the back, with Per Mertesacker ruled out for up to five months.

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is in the market for a new centre-back, although midfielder enforcer Francis Coquelin is being considered as a stop-gap option.

It is believed that Valencia’s Sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch could use the money to to refresh Pako Ayestarán’s squad with experienced La Liga players and talented youngsters.

Mustafi, 24, has won 12 caps for Germany 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 Germany but could be tempted by a move to the Premier League.

In other Arsenal transfer news, Wojciech Szczesny has finalised a second consecutive loan move to Serie A giants Roma.