Arsenal: Mustafi bid imminent; Swansea striker linked; Mahrez reportedly wants move
Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi is likely to be Arsenal’s next signing of the transfer window, according to reports this morning.
Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail claims Arsenal will make a formal, £30m bid for Mustafi this week as Arsene Wenger seeks reinforcements ahead of the new Premier League season.
With news emerging yesterday that Gabriel’s ankle injury is only a sprain, likely to keep the Brazilian out for 6-8 weeks, it is unlikely that Arsenal will pursue a second defender such as Jonny Evans.
German international Mustafi, 24, is the ideal profile to make a short term difference to Arsenal’s beleaguered defensive ranks, but is also of the calibre to make the spot his own in the longer term.
Arsenal have plenty of centre backs on their books, but three of them are youngsters with little Premier League experience; Calum Chambers, Krystian Bielik and new boy Rob Holding.
Wenger has never been afraid to give youngsters a chance further up the pitch, but is on record as saying that experience is needed at centre back.
Arsenal appear have a clear run, with no other parties on the case with Mustafi, so they really should press ahead with this move as soon as possible.
It maybe that they are waiting for Valencia to line up a replacement, with the Spanish club purportedly interested in Man City defender Eliaquim Mangala.
Reports this morning also suggest that Arsenal are set to make another £30m bid, this time for City cast-off Wilfried Bony.
The Ivorian striker has been deemed surplus to requirements at Eastlands, and with Arsenal actively looking for a forward it is easy for agents to put two and two together.
It would be truly astonishing if Wenger, who has insisted on so many occasions that he looks only for ‘top, top quality’ who can improve his team, was to settle for Bony.
He is a solid striker with a good goalscoring record, but he is not the upgrade on Olivier Giroud that Wenger and Arsenal fans are looking for.
With Bony shown the door by Pep Guardiola, the likely source of this story is Bony’s representatives trying to drum up some interest in the player.
Elsewhere, reports from France say that Riyad Mahrez has told his inner circle that he has his heart set on a move to Arsenal.
It is not the first time the French media has pushed Mahrez in this direction, but as things stand it seems Arsenal’s priorities lie in other positions.
In any case, the story states that Mahrez will not force a move away from Leicester so Gooners should not be investing too much hope in this one.
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