Inter Milan reportedly missed out on Shkodran Mustafi this summer because Arsene Wenger wasn’t willing to sell.
After paying Valencia £35m for Mustafi just one year previously, Calcio Mercato claims that Wenger simply wasn’t willing to allow the centre-back to leave.
Clearly this makes sense, since, contrary to what the same report says, the Germany international is a first team player and allowing another defender to leave after Gabriel joined Valencia for £10m would have been completely bizarre.
The lack of playing time, which Calcio Mercato references, comes from Mustafi being sidelined through injury; he was out for a total of 62 days. Not because Wenger benched him.
The centre-back is already back in the starting line-up after returning to fitness following his extended summer break.
The Italian outlet suggests that despite rumours that Inter could return for the 25-year-old in January, they might not since they supposedly believe they have adequate cover for the rest of the season in Andrea Ranocchia and Zinho Vanheusden.
The claims fit in with what the BBC’s David Ornstein said at the end of the transfer window.
The reputable journalist insisted that Mustafi had asked to leave and, just like Gabriel, the request had come as a surprise. It wasn’t something that Wenger or Arsenal had factored in, which backs up why the manager was reportedly reluctant to let him leave.