After a few relatively quiet days on the Shkodran Mustafi front it all got a little more frenetic on Wednesday as new developments were being reported, although the truth of them is still to be determined.
Sensing an opportunity, Liverpool have, we’re told, entered the race to sign Mustafi, a race that included only Arsenal until Arsenal took too long.
This is the story we’re being told, at least.
From what we can gather, Valencia are open to selling a centre back (but that could be Aymen Abdennour who has been touted around), the player wants to join Arsenal and Arsenal want him. While they don’t seem to have placed a bid, they are in talks and trying to come to an agreement before they make the formal offer rather than just barrelling in there and slapping a load of cash on the table.
The problem comes with Arsenal taking their time in these negotiations. It gives others a chance to come in and gazump them, and given Valencia’s need for cash, it is a very risky game that the Gunners seem to be playing.
Valencia’s director of football said at a recent press conference, “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.”
I don’t believe Arsenal are ‘dithering’ as is being reported but they are perhaps not being as forceful as they should be given the situation.
— SER Deportivos Valen (@SERDepValencia) August 17, 2016
Of course, this could be the player or Valencia trying to hurry things along, but it is concerning nonetheless and a warning of what could happen if things aren’t sorted out sooner rather than later.
It’s also worth noting that any Liverpool deal could reportedly involve a player swap and when we hear about players being involved in swap deals we know it’s very unlikely.
The Spanish side have not yet responded to our request for information to try and further understand what is really happening here, but should we get a response you will all be the first to know.