Inter Milan director of football Walter Sabatini has ruled out the possibility of his side signing Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi.
According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal were open to selling the 25-year-old to the Nerazurri, with Inter keen to bolster their backline with a commanding defender.
The news was a surprise to Arsenal fans as they felt Mustafi deserved at least another season to prove his worth at the club, given he’d only joined 12 months previous. West Brom’s Jonny Evans was being lined up just in case.
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 31, 2017
Nevertheless, Sabatini’s latest comments suggest he’ll remain at the Emirates regardless. “We won’t make any more signings. It has been a pragmatic transfer campaign. Mustafi? We made an attempt, but we decided to ‘recycle’ someone else.”
Inter Milan are believed to be in bid for Manchester City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala and West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna, and may well now make an approach for one of the pair if Mustafi is off the table.
Juventus were reportedly keen on the Arsenal man too, but have since opted to sign Schalke’s Benedikt Howedes to strengthen their backline this summer. With Arsenal so thin on viable defensive options, the German international staying will be good news for the supporters.
Gabriel was sold to Valencia, Per Mertesacker and Calum Chambers can’t currently get a game, while Rob Holding has been in and out of the side early on this season. Laurent Koscielny has been suffering from injury problems too.
So the latest thing Arsenal needed to do was sell another centre-back without replacing him.