Arsenal are reportedly edging closer to a deal that will see them beat London rivals Chelsea to the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. Mustafi is a transfer target for a number of European sides this summer, including Premier League teams Arsenal and Chelsea and although the latter club were the previous front runners to make a deal, the last 48 hours have seen Arsenal pull ahead.
If the bookies are to be believed, Arsenal are now odds on favourites to sign the centre back, as the Gunners odds were slashed following the increase of rumours in the last two days. Arsenal have reportedly been on the lookout to add to their defence this summer, even after the signing of Rob Holding, following on from Per Mertesacker’s injury. Mertesacker has been ruled out for 5 months with a knee injury that will mean that he is unlikely to make an appearance for the Gunners until after Christmas, meaning there is a gap in cover at centre back. The injury also puts his potential captaincy bid at Arsenal on hold, whilst his career with the Gunners may be in doubt given that he is falling in physical ability.
A defender is a major priority for both Arsenal and Chelsea this summer and both clubs also reportedly remain interested in Napoli defender Koulibaly. However given that the Italian side have just received a whopping transfer sum from Juventus for Gonzalo Higuain, I’m sure the side from Naples are in no rush to sell up anytime soon. If Arsenal are seriously contending signing another centre back this summer, a defender with quality and experience, then Mustafi may be our best bet. At a rumoured £21 million, he may not be the cheapest of the bunch but in today’s transfer market, it may be a worthwhile investment.