Barcelona have reportedly expressed an interest in signing Shkodran Mustafi, whose contract with FC Schalke 04 runs out later this month.

According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are considering a swoop for FC Schalke 04 defender Shkodran Mustafi this summer and have established contact with the defender’s camp to test the water over a possible transfer.

Mustafi signed for Schalke only in January earlier this year after his contract with Premier League giants Arsenal was terminated. The 29-year-old German international featured just 13 times for the club in the second half of the 2020/21 season as they ended up getting relegated from Bundesliga. Having signed only a six-month contract with Schalke, the defender will now be a free agent once his deal expires at the end of this month.

This has seemingly alerted Barcelona, who are now interested in signing the former Arsenal star. The Blaugrana have already bolstered their defence with the free transfer of Eric Garcia from Manchester City. However, they remain in the market for another addition to their centre-back department, which is very much understandable considering their situation.

Samuel Umtiti has struggled for form and fitness for a good part of the last three years and is widely expected to leave Barcelona this summer. In addition, Clement Lenglet also underwhelmed in the season gone by and could be offloaded, should a good enough offer come along. Throw in the fact that Gerard Pique is 34 years old and had to deal with injuries quite a bit in 2020/21, adding more bodies to the backline makes sense for the Cules.

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This has seen Barcelona get linked with Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter while there has also been interest in AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli. While both would be affordable options considering that they are entering the final year of their respective contracts, Barcelona’s financial plight means they are once again looking at the free-agent market, which has led them to Mustafi.

The 29-year-old has prior experience in Spain, having spent two years with Valencia prior to his transfer to Arsenal, which makes him an even more attractive option for the Blaugrana as per the report. To that end, it is being claimed that Barcelona have already held talks with the German international’s agents and an answer is expected from them in the coming days.

It now remains to be seen whether Barcelona do end up landing the former Arsenal defender or settle for a different option. As things stand, though, Mustafi is a transfer target for the Catalan giants as they look to shake things up under new president Joan Laporta.

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