We have been hearing all sorts of things in the Arsenal transfer rumours flying around about the potential pursuit of the German international defender Shkodran Mustafi, with rumours of fake agents, meetings and all sorts of things.
Valencia have said that he is not for sale and that the reason he has been training alone and not featuring in their pre-season games is because of fitness issues, although a lot of people are a bit suspicious of these claims. This week it has been reported that the Spanish club have hiked up the price of their player, probably after the Gabriel injury blow left Arsene Wenger even more desperate for cover at the back.
There have been some suggestions that Valencia were not in a strong bargaining position themselves, though, because of their financial situation and now Metro has reported that one of the club’s chiefs has admitted this and prepared their fans for the departure of at least one of their players in order to comply with the FFP rules.
Garcia Pitarch said, ‘We’re above the FFP guidelines, that’s the reality, and as of today, the four players we’ve signed cannot be registered, meaning we need to reduce the cost in a significant manner to register the players and sign a centre-back, which is a priority in case one of the ones at our club leaves.
‘Obviously, if they don’t leave, we can’t sign a new one not only because of financial restrictions, but also because it wouldn’t be logical to have five or six centre-backs. We need to continue with a reduced budget, but if there’s an exit, we need a new centre-back.
‘Our capacity is very limited. We’ve signed one player on a free, one on a loan with a view to buy, Nani in good conditions and Medrán as well because Madrid allowed it and the player decided to do so.’
It is pretty clear from this that Valencia are ready to sell Mustafi, but is Arsene Wenger ready to buy? He can hardly claim that there are no centre backs available after these comments, so is this a way for the Spaniards to force our hand?