By Alex Taylor
Arsenal are on the brink of signing Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia after agreeing personal terms with the defender, according to a reliable journalist.
Sky Sports Germany reporter Marc Behrenbeck has indicated that a deal for the Germany international is close as the Gunners seek defensive cover following a spate of injuries at the back.
“Mustafi deal to Arsenal nearly done,” Behrenbeck said on his personal Twitter account on Thursday morning. “Player and Club agreed on contract. Final talks with Valencia to come.”
— Marc Behrenbeck (@Sky_Marc) August 11, 2016
Wenger has reportedly tabled a £26 million bid for the Valencia centre-back after trying for a number of weeks to bring in defensive cover.
The Arsenal manager, who signed England Under-21 international Rob Holding from Bolton last month, has not been able to complete any senior defender deals and has hinted that no new arrivals will be in place by Sunday.
The north Londoners will not be able to call on the senior trio of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel in their Premier League opener against Liverpool, with the latter pair out for up to five months and two months respectively.
But the Gunners are in hot pursuit of German defender Mustafi, who 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, 24, has three years left on his current deal in Spain, but could be tempted by a move to the Premier League.
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.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Arsene Wenger reveals the coming season will decide his future at the club.