Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger may have been trying to save face by announcing that negotiations are underway for the transfer of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. However, the announcement may have been premature and done out of desperation.
Sky Sports football insider Guillem Balague has stated that despite Wenger’s announcement, Mustafi will likely stay in Valencia. The reason behind this is the player’s buy-out clause. It will reportedly cost Arsenal €50m to persuade Valencia to let go of Mustafi. Balague emphasizes that this amount is probably too much for Arsenal to agree to.
“Valencia’s position is such because they don’t think they can find someone to replace him, given the proximity of transfer deadline day. It’s a similar stance to the one they have with Barcelona target Paco Alcacer,” explained Balague.
Meanwhile, Wenger has been facing criticism for the lack of movement in the team during the soon-to-be-concluded transfer window. The lackluster results at the start of the English Premier League has prompted even more criticism. Over the weekend, Arsenal only managed a draw against defending champions Leicester City. Prior to that, they opened the season with a 3-4 defeat against Liverpool.
Goal.com reports that Valencia coach Pako Ayestaran has confirmed that Mustafi is not for sale. Despite not starting for Valencia in their recent La Liga match, he made it clear that the defender has a place in the club. “Mustafi is not for sale and will not be leaving the club,” he said.
With his advances being thwarted by Valencia, Wenger will have to look elsewhere to find a new signing. Only a few days are left before the end of the month and the end of the transfer window. It remains to be seen if the Gunners still have a few tricks up their sleeves. They will be facing Watford on Saturday, where they will be hoping to claim their first win of the season.