Having seemingly been on the verge of sealing a deal for German international Shkodran Mustafi for weeks now, the latest news from Spain suggest Arsenal’s hopes of signing the defender are over once and for all.
The La Liga side lost their opening game of the season 4-2 against Las Palmas on Monday night, and speaking to reporters after the game, Valencia coach Pako Ayestaran said he expected to retain the services of the talented 24-year-old.
According to ESPN, Ayestaran said:
“Mustafi is not for sale and he will stay at VCF. The market is open and there are still possibilities.
“With (Paco) Alcacer, I can be as firm as with Mustafi, [club president] Lay Hoon already said it. The president has said in public that Alcacer and Mustafi are not for sale and I have to believe her.”
Those comments will not go down well in north London given injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel in recent weeks, and following the Gunners’ sluggish start to the season. The fact that Mustafi had been named on the bench for Monday’s fixture had also been taken as a hopeful sign for some Gooners.
A 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day saw Rob Holding and Calum Chambers pair up at centre back, while last weekend’s trip to champions Leicester saw the former line out alongside stalwart Laurent Koscielny, who has now at least returned to action following his exploits in France at Euro 2016.
The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, has linked Arsène Wenger with a “surprise” enquiry for Monaco defender Marcel Tisserand in the meantime, but Ayestaran’s quotes will no doubt be a huge disappointment to the Frenchman.