Arsenal hope to ease their defensive crisis this week after making a third bid for Valencia centre-half Shkodran Mustafi worth up to £28million.
The La Liga club have been holding out for £42m — the figure in Mustafi’s release clause.However, the 24-year-old Germany centre-half hopes the club will relent and Valencia are considering the offer, which consists of £25m up front with the remainder in add-ons.Mustafi was left out of the side for last night’s friendly against a Nigeria all-star team and his club are planning to give Arsenal a decision by the end of this week.
Last weekend, Gabriel suffered ankle ligament damage in a friendly against Manchester City, ruling him out for between six to eight weeks.That injury has left Arsene Wenger without a recognised senior central defender for the start of the Premier League campaign.Per Mertesacker has been ruled out until the end of the year with a knee injury and Laurent Koscielny is also expected to miss Sunday’s opener at home to Liverpool.
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Koscielny is back in training after an extended break following Euro 2016 but Wenger is reluctant to rush him back into action.Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding are the only alternatives at centre-back.