Barcelona have reportedly dismissed previous claims by Shkodran Mustafi’s agent suggesting a potential move from Arsenal in the January transfer window.
According to Mundo Deportivo, insiders from Barcelona have issued a response to Shkodran Mustafi’s agent’s claims earlier this week. Emre Ozturk, the Arsenal defender’s representative, recently posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, “ready for meeting”. The agent later told Spox that he was in Nou Camp to discuss terms with Barca regarding Mustafi.
However, the Catalan giants have only acknowledged Emre Ozturk’s meeting at Barcelona as a mere “courtesy summit” rather than an attempt to secure the services of the German international in the upcoming January transfer window. It is believed that the Spanish outfit is exploring their options ahead of the presidential meeting next month.
The report also suggests that Barcelona still have their eyes on Manchester City starlet Eric Garcia in January. So, the interest in Mustafi was rather surprising, especially following the recent emergence of the young defensive duo of Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza.
However, it is fair to point out that Barca could welcome the arrival of an experienced figurehead at the back, largely due to the injury of Gerard Pique. Samuel Umtiti has also had his fair share of fitness issues, which is where Mustafi might have come into the fray.
Unfortunately for the German, though, he certainly doesn’t have the greatest of track records. The Arsenal centre-back is often maligned for his error-prone nature and a lack of marking. In addition, he isn’t particularly good with the ball at his feet, especially when facing a high-intensity press.
Mustafi is more or less surplus to Arsenal’s requirements this season. The Gunners have already identified their ideal central defensive combination in Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney while David Luiz is also an option. So we can expect the club to offload the ex-Valencia star one way or another next month.
As for Barcelona, they should ideally shift their attention towards other available options in the market. As mentioned earlier, Eric Garcia remains a priority target for Koeman, although the Dutchman has identified a host potential alternatives, including Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar.