The mooted transfer of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal has managed fit an awful lot of drama into such a short space of time.
The German international had reportedly agreed to move to the Emirates, but as yet no agreement has been reached with the Spanish side.
The move took another twist this morning when the player’s father (and representative) revealed that the man named all along in this story as the player’s agent, Ali Bubut, is in fact no longer representing him.
As a result, confusion has reigned ever since.
Reports on Friday have claimed that the Gunners will turn to Barcelona defender Jérémy Mathieu should the move for Mustafi ultimately fall through.
Citing reports from France last night, the Telegraph have claimed that Arsenal have already made enquires as to the 32-year-old’s availability, and go so far as to allege that a move to the Emirates is looking increasingly likely for the French international.
Mathieu arrived at the Camp Nou from Valencia in a €20m deal in 2014, but has not really been able to establish himself as a first-choice defender for Luis Enrique’s side. However, Barcelona have lost a number of defenders already this summer, and despite the arrivals of Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti (both international teammates of Mathieu’s), they may look to keep the experienced defender as cover.
Mathieu is capable of playing in the centre of defence or at left back – although he would be seen as a stop-gap by Arsene Wenger, his versatility would still be a useful asset.
In any case, Arsenal will almost certainly be signing a central defender in the current window. Wenger confirmed as much earlier this week, saying:
“We are short on the experience front and this, centre-back, is a position where experience plays an important part. Of course we will look to add – we are working on it.”
As things stand, the smart money would still be on Mustafi moving to the Emirates, possibly early next week, but it’s not quite over the line just yet.
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