Arsenal: Wenger "ready to spend"; breakthrough in Mustafi chase; Monaco defender linked

Arsene Wenger’s lack of activity in this summer’s transfer window has drawn fierce criticism from Arsenal supporters and football pundits alike. His one summer purchase is that of Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka, who signed for a fee in the region of £34million from Borussia Monchengladbach, but with injuries to captain Per Mertesacker and Gabriel, whilst Laurent Koscielny is still re-gaining regular fitness after a lengthy Euro 2016 campaign with France, additions to bolster Arsenal’s depleted defence are an absolute must, whilst Wenger is still pursuing that ever elusive goalscoring forward to propel his side back towards a title challenge.

 

After suffering the wake-up call of a 4-3 opening defeat at home to Liverpool, in which their defensive shortcomings were brutally exposed, the crescendo of boos from Arsenal fans that followed the full time whistle has prompted Wenger to face the media and reassure that Arsenal are “prepared to spend” money this transfer window, but that Wenger will not be held to ransom and that the money must be spent in the right manner, reports Sky Sports News.

 

The importance of signing a centre-half before the Liverpool game was paramount, but after seeing his side ship four at home, the urgency of the need for an experienced defender will surely have intensified, but whilst Wenger himself remained tight-lipped over the latest news on target Shkodran Mustafi, the Daily Star claims that a fee of roughly £25.9million may be agreed between Arsenal and the German international’s club Valencia as early as Friday.

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The report draws upon a series of tweets by Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, claiming that a deal is close to being finalised. Giulianelli discloses that Mustafi is carrying an injury which may yet throw a spanner in the works regarding the timing of the deal’s completion, though if the injury, believed to be a muscle strain according to the report, does not endure further complications, a medical could be conducted by Monday.

Sky Germany had already reported earlier this week, via Sky Sports News, that Mustafi had agreed to join the North London club but a fee was yet to be agreed between the clubs. If there is indeed substance to Giulianelli and the Star’s claims, then this long pursuit of an experienced centre-half may finally be nearing its conclusion, much to the relief of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal supporters.

 

The Arsenal manager however is refusing to be drawn in by the speculation, and when asked about the deal, Sky Sports News‘ account of his response was this:

“I believe it is better I don’t talk about any individual player. We are ready to spend the money we have.”

“It’s not my money. It’s important to spend money the right way”.

 

With Wenger refusing to name names, speculation over the likes of Simon Kjaer, Omer Toprak and Jose Gimenez who have already been linked with the Gunners continues to be rife, but Thursday saw another name crop up on the list of linked defenders, after the Daily Star linked versatile Monaco defender Marcel Tisserand to a potential move to North London.

The Star‘s Alex Harris writes that Arsenal, according to a report in France Football, have their eye on the Monaco man who has spent the last two seasons on loan with Ligue 1 club Toulouse.

 

His versatility in being able to play at centre-half or right-back would be a useful commodity for Arsene Wenger given his current defensive woes at the Emirates Stadium, and he could yet turn to the DR Congo international to help remedy the crisis. It is more likely however that Tisserand would be an alternative to Mustafi, rather than another dose of fresh blood in the camp, and in any case Arsenal would have to act quickly, since the reckoning in the report is that the player has also been in talks with French club Saint-Étienne over a possible move.


Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Stuart MacFarlane. 

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