Yet another day is over in the transfer window, and we are still discussing the future of our transfer target Shkodran Mustafi.
We were dealt a huge blow before the start of the season when we lost Per Mertesacker and Gabriel to long-term injuries. Mustafi emerged as our answer to the defensive injury crisis, but the transfer talks with Valencia have become quite tedious.
It’s been quite a while since our interest in the player was picked up by the media and since then we have been going around in circles without reaching a conclusion.
At first, there was speculation regarding the authenticity of our interest in the player. Then reports emerged that the player wants to join us, but we are trying to lower down his price, which is believed to be in the region of £25-£30m.
This status quo had maintained for few days before Wenger confirmed in his press conference on last weekend that we are in talks with Valencia and hope to reach a conclusion soon.
Around the same time, Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague claimed that Valencia would not allow their player to leave unless his release clause of £43m is met. Following this report, Valencia manager Pako Ayestarán insisted that the 24-year-old won’t be leaving the club this summer.
“Mustafi is not for sale, and he will stay at VCF,” he told reporters on Monday. “The market is open, and there are still possibilities.
“With Alcacer, I can be as firm as with Mustafi, [club president] Lay Hoon already said it.
“The president has said in public that Alcacer and Mustafi are not for sale, and I have to believe her.”
Now, this brings us to the latest development on Mustafi saga – Sky Germany reporter Behrenbeck yesterday claimed that the player has agreed to sign for us, but his current club want to make as much money as they can from the deal.
It appears that all parties want the deal to happen, but only on their terms. We seemed to have an upper hand in the negotiations at the moment as the player wants to join us and also because of the Spanish club’s poor financial health. It will be a surprise if we do not complete the deal before weekend. Valencia have been under the cosh due to their financial problems and they urgently need money to meet the FFP guidelines.
However, the situation may change soon if Valencia decide to sell Paco Alcacer to Barcelona. The Catalans have been trying to sign the young striker, and if Los Che decide to sell him, they might not need to sell Mustafi.
So, we need to be very cautious in our approach for the German and shouldn’t let him slip away for a couple of million in transfer money.
However, £43m does appear too much for the player, and I am in no doubt that Wenger won’t pay that kind of money for him. Whatever has to happen will soon happen as there is not much time left in the window and we will find out soon enough.