Ligue 1 club AS Monaco have reportedly made enquiries for Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, although a deal remains doubtful.
Arsenal have done some great business over the last two weeks, signing some key stars to bolster their squad. With the situation surrounding transfer funds still somewhat dicey, they have been looking to offload some of their high-earning stars. According to L’Equipe (h/t Daily Mirror), AS Monaco have come forward with an enquiry for Shkodran Mustafi, but a move may be difficult.
William Saliba and Dani Ceballos have already joined the Gunners. Arsenal are also about to sign Nicolas Pepe in a club-record deal. With Saliba set to return to Saint-Etienne on a season-long loan deal, Unai Emery is still in the market for a quality central defender. Now, the situation has become tricky with AS Monaco enquiring about Mustafi.
The defensive situation at Arsenal will make it difficult for Monaco to sign the German defender. The Saliba situation aside, Laurent Koscielny has been pushing for a move away from the club, having refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour. Moreover, with no new central defensive targets in sight and the season just about two weeks away, Arsenal might be reluctant to sell.
The German, long thought to be one of the casualties in this window, has only been able to attract minimal interest. AC Milan were earlier considered to be chasing Mustafi, but have since cooled their interest. Arsenal, as such, have been focused in their efforts to sign Saliba for most parts of the summer and have not given serious consideration to Mustafi’s future.
However, following the loss to Lyon in the Emirates Cup on Sunday, Mustafi was booed off by the Emirates crowd as he was caught out for the visitors’ second goal. That performance has Emery re-considering Mustafi’s future at the club.
Mustafi was understood to be on Arsenal’s list of expendable players, alongside Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League. But considering the situation with Koscielny, Arsenal could keep the German in their ranks for another season.
However, with AS Monaco interested, Arsenal might also be tempted to cash in on the German if the French outfit meet their asking price. Arsenal value Mustafi at £30 million, which is a slight depreciation from the £35 million they paid to sign him from Valencia in 2016.
With under two weeks left before the transfer window slams shut, it will be a crucial time for Emery and the Arsenal board to secure a viable central defender. If that does not happen, then the Gunners will be forced to keep hold of existing players including Mustafi for the upcoming season.