By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Pablo Alcacer will stay at Valencia despite an agreement for him to join Barcelona, according to a reliable journalist.
Sky Sports’ Spanish reporter Guillem Balague claimed on his personal Twitter account on Thursday that the Spanish club have been boosted by the striker staying at the club where he has emerged through the ranks.
Balague reported that there was a pre-agreement in place between Valencia and Barcelona for the 22-year-old Spain international to move to Camp Nou this summer but the deal is now dead in the water.
Valencia fans (and coaching staff) got what they wanted. Despite FCB interest and a pre agreement between clubs, Alcacer will stay at VFC
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 18, 2016
Balague does not state what impact the Alcacer development will have on the situation of his team-mate Shkodran Mustafi, who has been so strongly pursued by Arsenal in recent weeks.
The Sky expert claimed on Tuesday that the centre-back would be sold to the Gunners for a fee of £25.9million to enable them to meet financial fair play rules.
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
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.
Updates about Mustafi: Arsenal offer €25mln plus €5mln additional bonus fees. #afc
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) August 10, 2016
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.