Arsenal have just made one major signing this summer, but the club want to sign at least one striker and one center-back before the transfer window closes. Their hunt for the latter has been blocked as a bid for Valencia’s Skhodran Mustafi has reportedly been rejected.
Los Che have rejected an €18 million bid made by Arsenal for their 24-year-old German center-back Shkodran Mustafi, according to Valencia based publication Plaza Deportiva. Mustafi is tied down to a contract till 2019 with a buy-out clause of €50 million. Manager Pako Ayestaran has already stated that the defender features in Valencia’s plans for next season, but things have been complicated by the club’s financial trouble.
According to the report, Valencia are concerned about the wages being paid to two of their other central defenders Aymen Abdennour and Aderlan Santos and could be willing to sell Mustafi for the right price. Los Che are thus holding out for a fee of at least €25 to €30 million for their star center-back.
The player himself is reportedly keen to secure a move to the Premier League, but only if a deal for first team football is secured. The German international is also driven by the desire to play in the Champions League, something that Arsenal can offer on a regular basis.
Mustafi joined the Everton academy from Hamburger SV, but failed to get regular games under then manager David Moyes. The Scotsman eventually sold him off to Serie B side Sampdoria in 2012, where he helped them achieve promotion and became a permanent fixture at the back. Valencia then bought Mustafi in 2014 for a reported €8 million. The German defender has since established himself as a regular in the Los Che defence and is said to have the potential to grow into one of the best in Europe.
Arsenal are in need of a quality center-back following the injury to Per Mertesacker, who at the age of 32 is entering the twilight of his career. While Laurent Koscielny is a quality center-back, the club’s other two established defenders in Gabriel Paulista and Callum Chambers are a bit inexperienced and do not instill much confidence in the ranks. The reliable Mustafi could be an improvement on both of them and the situation with Valencia’s finances could help facilitate a deal for the Gunners.
However London rivals Chelsea are also reportedly interested in Mustafi, so they will have to wrap up the deal quickly in order to avoid a bidding war.