Arsenal: Move for German defender likely; last attempt for Lacazette; Mahrez latest
After Per Mertesacker sustained a long-term injury this pre-season, Arsenal have turned towards Valencia’s German international Shkodran Mustafi to replace him according to Sky Sports.
The reckoning is by Sky Germany that Arsenal are in talks to sign the 24-year old defender, whose release clause with the La Liga club is £42.1m. The source however does claim that Arsenal may be able to bring in the player for as little as £25.3 million plus a further £8.4m in add-ons, which would be a great deal for the club.
Wenger was under pressure to add to his defensive options already this summer, but with only two fit senior centre-halves at the club since Mertesacker’s injury, his hand has now been forced with the Gunners in critical need of options at the back, and if Arsenal can attain him for the reduced fee, it would by all means be an excellent deal.
Meanwhile as Arsenal’s hunt for a forward rumbles on, Alexandre Lacazette is a name continually linked with a move from Ligue 1 to North London. It seems that Lyon are desperate to hold onto the French international, whose 21 goals helped the club finish 2nd in Ligue 1 last season. Arsenal having already had an offer around the £25m mark rebuffed, have gone in with a final offer of roughly £35m according to the Independent.
It is thought that were their final offer to be turned down, Arsenal will turn their attentions elsewhere, but Lacazette’s dynamic, technically strong style of play and reputation as a finisher may make him an ideal strike partner for Olivier Giroud, so don’t be surprised to see this transfer saga continue.
Elsewhere, Arsene Wenger watched from the stands in Premier League champions Leicester City’s 4-0 drubbing by Paris St-Germain in the States, and it is thought that his point of interest was the Foxes’ Algerian international winger Riyad Mahrez.
Contrary to reports that have emerged from Algeria and France earlier in the week, the reckoning at Sky Sports is that an official approach has not yet been made for the winger, but with speculation rife over his future in the wake of his demands for a £100,000 a week contract at the King Power, Wenger may be preparing a big money offer to test the loyalty of the 25-year old to the dismay of Claudio Ranieri.
The acquisition of the winger would certainly add firepower to Wenger’s options up front, and he may see the Algerian as the perfect player to deploy on Arsenal’s right-wing with Joel Campbell having occupied the position before. With Danny Welbeck out until the New Year with injury and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out of form for some time, freshness is needed on the Arsenal flanks and after a superb season for Leicester on their way to a maiden top-flight title, Mahrez may just be the man.