FC Barcelona are locked in transfer negotiations with Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi as we head into the January transfer window.
According to a report from Mirror, FC Barcelona appear to have stepped up their pursuit of Shkodran Mustafi. The Arsenal defender is apparently a January target for the La Liga giants and the club is currently negotiating a potential deal to rope in the much-maligned centre-back next month.
It was supposedly revealed by Mustafi’s agent Emre Ozturk, who was recently pictured on Instagram at Barcelona’s stadium. The post was entitled “ready for meeting”. The angel later confirmed Spox that he was “not in Barcelona because of Yusuf Demir, but because of Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal.”
While Ronald Koeman’s interest in securing the services of Mustafi might be surprising, the motive clearly isn’t considering the club’s recent dearth of options at centre-back. The Dutchman is already without the services of his most-experienced defender in Gerard Pique while Samuel Umtiti has had his fair share of problems regarding fitness.
It leaves Koeman with Clement Lenglet and the inexperienced defensive duo of Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza. Although both the youngsters have done an excellent job in La Liga recently, they are not trusted options when Barcelona lock horns with the biggest clubs in Europe during the second half of the campaign.
Arsenal, in contrast, are desperate to offload their stacked defensive department. In fact. their manager Mikel Arteta had no less than seven options at centre-back at the start of the campaign. And although players like William Saliba and Calum Chambers have hardly featured this campaign, the Spaniard will be more than willing to get rid other fringe players.
Mustafi and Sokratis, in particular, are more or less surplus to Arsenal’s requirement this season. The Gunners have already identified their central defensive combination in Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney while David Luiz is also an option. It bodes for Barcelona, who were initially linked with a move for Mustafi earlier in mid-November.
From a sporting perspective, however, the German is rather a bizarre option. He is infamous at Emirates for his tendency to make defensive errors as well as his lack of passing ability. In addition, Mustafi hasn’t played much football either, over the course of the past 12 months – making him quite a risky signing for the Blaugrana.
On the flip side, however, the Arsenal defender does indeed have a lot of experience at the highest level of football. His contract at Emirates also expires at the end of the season, meaning he could be available on a cut-price in January.