Arsenal: Mustafi alternatives highlighed; Icardi latest; Midfielder out for a month
Arsenal’s search for a centre back is set to widen, with a fee for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi yet to be agreed.
According to Sky Sports, Mustafi has agreed personal terms with the Gunners and is keen to complete the switch to North London but the two clubs remain apart in their valuation.
Arsenal are keen to acquire the German for approximately £20 million, while Valencia are refusing to let the player leave for less than £30 million.
BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, always a reliable source of Arsenal news, took to Twitter to report that Arsenal were looking at Denmark international Simon Kjaer and Turkish international Omer Toprak as alternatives:
Arsenal yet to agree fee for Mustafi. #AFC considering Omer Toprak & Simon Kjaer as alternatives but Mustafi remains priority & keen to join
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 15, 2016
Fenerbahce’s Kjaer is a 27-year-old centre half with 59 international caps, while Bayer Leverkusen’s Toprak is the same age and has 23 caps for Turkey.
Kjaer has been on Arsenal’s scouting radar in the past, but it seems Arsenal are trying to publicise their interest in these players to force Valencia’s hand.
Mustafi wants to join Arsenal, they want Mustafi and it would be truly farcical if Arsenal did not present Valencia with an acceptable proposal.
Do recall the stories from earlier in the summer about Arsenal ‘low-balling’ Borussia Monchengladbach with their first offer for Granit Xhaka, before a deal was struck in the ensuing days.
Ornstein claimed Arsenal are keen to ensure they have significant funds available for a striker singing, but just who they have in mind remains unclear.
The Daily Star report that Mauro Icardi is set to stay at Internazionale and sign a new contract, after the Argentine forward was linked with Arsenal earlier in the summer.
Despite a great deal of noise around Icardi over recent months, it never quite felt as if Arsene Wenger had a concrete interest in the player.
Wenger has seen early moves for Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette amount to nothing, he’s his pinning his hopes on there being some movement elsewhere in the market.
Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out until after the international break with a hamstring injury.
Wenger may well point to the effects of the European Championships, but Sunday’s game against Liverpool was Ramsey’s first competitive for six weeks.
He was given plenty of rest, and though Wenger might argue he did not have enough training Ramsey is also a player with a history of soft tissue injuries.
With Granit Xhaka and Mesut Özil are likely to be blooded in the next few weeks so Arsenal have plenty of midfield options, but losing the goalscoring threat of Ramsey is an early blow.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Simon Kjaer
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