Arsenal have reportedly had an offer of around €18m rejected by Valencia for defender and German international Shkodran Mustafi.
The Gunners are in the market for a central defender this summer after Arsene Wenger saw Per Mertesacker ruled out for several months with a serious knee injury that was picked up in pre-season.
With Laurent Koscielny set to miss the start of the Premier League campaign after being given an extended period off after Euro 2016, the French tactician is certainly short of options in that department.
According to Valencia based newspaper Plaza Deportiva, the north London outfit have turned their interest in Mustafi into a tangible bid, but have seen their first attempt to prise the German defender away from his current club knocked back.
With Gabriel, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers his only three options to start the season, Wenger has acknowledged that he must act, and it’s seemingly perhaps clearer that Mustafi will be his top target this summer.
However, if the veteran tactician wishes to land his man, it’s claimed by Plaza Deportivo that they’ll have to splash out something between €25-30m.
Mustafi is seen as a key player for the La Liga giants, and ultimately it’s their desire to avoid losing him this summer. Nevertheless, should a sizeable offer come in for the 24-year-old, then they will naturally find it difficult to turn Arsenal’s continued advances away.
The former Everton defender has a contract with the club until 2019, and despite the club’s current Financial Fair Play predicament, coach Pako Ayestaran has insisted that he wants him to stay.
Whether or not Arsenal now return with an improved offer remains to be seen, but with less than two weeks to go until the new Premier League campaign kicks off and with under a month until the transfer deadline, they won’t have too much time to hang around.