By Tony Hughes
Arsenal are see to agree the £25.9million signing of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia on Friday, according to a reliable journalist.
Gazzetta Dello Sport and Tribal Football journalist Emmanuele Giulianelli claimed on his personal Twitter account on Thursday night that there has been a fresh breakthrough in the Gunners’ pursuit of the centre-back.
He claims it “looks like” the deal will be agreed on Friday and that it had been delayed while the London giants waited to see if an injury the defender had carried during pre-season had fully healed.
+++ Arsenal: looks like Mustafi will be agreed tomorrow. Club were waiting to see if injury would heal as expected. Looks to be €30m #afc
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) August 18, 2016
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.
Giulianelli first broke the news of Arsenal’s interest in Mustafi and has delivered regular updates on the deal in the last month.
Giulianelli claimed on Wednesday of last week that Arsenal had bid for the centre-back and 24 hours later he provided some new details by revealing on his personal Twitter account that the bid had been turned down, although Mustafi had agreed personal terms with the London giants.
Mustafi: apparently Arsenal bid wasn’t accepted! But very close agreement between clubs, still €3-5m apart. He has agreed personal terms.
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) August 11, 2016
Giulianelli had claimed that the Gunners had offered £21.5million plus £4.3million of add-ons for the centre-back.
Wenger has admitted that he is in the market for a new centre-back, and was forced to turn to rookie duo Rob Holding and Calum Chambers for the team’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.
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 Wilfred Bony.