By Amir Mir

Arsene Wenger has suggested Arsenal will not have a new defender signing in time for their Premier League opener against Liverpool on Sunday.

Wenger has reportedly tabled a £26 million bid for Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi after an availability crisis left him without three senior men at the back for the Emirates Stadium showdown.

The Gunners manager will not be able to call on the senior trio of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel, with the latter pair out for up to five months and two months respectively.

“We’ve had two unexpected injuries with Mertesacker and Gabriel,” Wenger told talkSPORT. “Koscielny came back very late so we are in a difficult position for Sunday’s game against Liverpool.

“This is very frustrating, but it’s a part of the game as well. Sometimes you find a solution that you wouldn’t find if you had no injuries.”

Wenger has been trying for a number of weeks to bring in an experienced centre-back with West Brom defender Johnny Evans linked with a move to the Emirates.

Wenger, who signed England Under-21 international Rob Holding from Bolton last month, has not been able to complete any senior defender deals and hinted he that no new arrivals will be in place by Sunday.

“We are short on the experience front and this, centre-back, is a position where experience plays an important part,” the Arsenal manager added to talkSPORT.

“Of course we will look to add, we are working on it, but until Sunday I have to find an internal solution and an efficient solution.”

Defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin has been training as a make shit centre-back during pre-season, but Wenger could also turn to youngsters Callum Chambers and Holding.

Holding signed from Bolton for a fee of £2 million earlier on in the summer, the 20-year-old has impressed during pre-season and could be thrown straight into the deep water against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

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