Arsenal: Wenger "hopeful" of defender deal; blow in Lacazette pursuit; Porto winger linked
After facing a grilling from the media over Arsenal’s lack of activity in the transfer window following Arsenal’s goal-less draw at Leicester, the Arsenal manager has revealed that talks are underway between the Gunners and Valencia over the recruitment of Shkodran Mustafi to add to Arsenal’s depleted rear-guard.
Quoting an interview with French TV station SFR Sport, the London Evening Standard reports that the Arsenal manager said of the pursuit of the German centre-half:
“Mustafi? We hope it will be done. We are struggling to find the players we need.”
“We must be responsible. At the end of the day we are a company with 600 employees and everyone must be paid at the end of the month”.
“Mustafi is one of a number of players we are looking at. Negotiations are ongoing”.
The report also claims that the Gunners are keeping tabs on Southampton skipper Jose Fonte, West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans, Fenerbahce’s Simon Kjaer and Bayer Leverkusen’s Omer Toprak in the event that a deal cannot be struck with Valencia over German international Mustafi. Sky Sports News claims that the bid that Arsenal have lodged for the defender with Valencia is in the region of £26million.
Elsewhere, if reports from the Telegraph are to be believed, then Arsenal are set to miss out on the signing of Olympique Lyonnais forward Alexandre Lacazette, having already passed-up on the opportunity to sign Gonzalo Higuain and Jamie Vardy.
Lacazette was on the mark again for Lyon on Friday night in a 2-0 win over Caen, after which the French international claimed he was happy at the Ligue 1 club and does not desire to leave.
The Telegraph quotes the player as saying:
“Concerning my personal situation, I do not think that there will be a departure from Lyonnais. Everything is going well here.”
“I would like to pass the milestone of 100 goals in all competitions, and I would like to do that at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais”.
If true, the snub will be a bitter blow for Arsene Wenger who is still seeking out a potent goalscorer to add to his frontline, however after missing out an another of his supposed targets in winger Riyad Mahrez after the Algerian signed a new four-year deal at Leicester, according to the Mirror, Wenger may have identified a potential alternative in the shape of Mahrez’s compatriot Yacine Brahimi of FC Porto.
The Algerian is keen to leave the Estadio do Dragao and according to the report would be available for a fee in the region of £40million. The addition of the Paris-born 26-year-old would be a certain boost to Arsenal’s options out wide, particularly if reports from the Express are to be believed in that one of their wide-men, Costa Rica international Joel Campbell, is set for a move to Sporting Lisbon.
The Express’ reckoning comes from a report in Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, claiming that Arsenal and Sporting have reached an agreement over a season long loan-deal for the 24-year-old Costa Rican, who would link up with international teammate Bryan Ruiz in Portugal. Campbell did however take part in Arsenal training prior to their weekend trip to Leicester, though if there is substance to the reports, it would be Campbell’s fifth loan spell since joining the Gunners in 2011 from Saprissa, but the timing would be something of a surprise after he enjoyed a breakthrough season in North London in 2015/16 scoring four times in 30 appearances for Arsenal, and a departure even on-loan would restrict Wenger’s already thinning squad even further.
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