By Tony Hughes

Arsenal are poised to sign Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia for a fee of £25.9million, according to a reliable journalist.

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.

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.

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.

Transfer expert Emmaniele Giulianelli was the first journalist to reveal that Arsenal had bid for the centre-back.

He said that last week that Mustafi had agreed personal terms with the London giants after they 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.