According to BBC’s David Ornstein, Arsenal and Valencia remain engaged in transfer talks over German center back Shkodran Mustafi. The main issue between the two clubs is the price, and it’s making Arsenal consider other possibilities. For the time being, Mustafi still wants a move to London.
According to Ornstein, Arsenal are trying to hold back funds so that they can go after a striker before the transfer window ends. Arsenal’s transfer budget is set up so that the transfer fee, player’s salary, and agent commission are included. This means all transfers actually take a larger chunk out of their budget than the fee they paid for the player. For the moment, the two clubs have yet to agree a fee, although there is no indication that they can’t come to an agreement.
Arsenal’s alternative choices are Bayer Leverkusen’s Turkish international center-back Omar Toprak, and Danish international Simon Kjaer, who plays for Fenerbahçe.
Kjaer is a 27-year old journeyman who has played for six clubs including Lille, Roma, Wolfsburg, Palermo, and FC Midtjylland. He was a highly rated teenager but has failed to establish himself as a key member at any club. Kjaer has been capped by Denmark on 59 occasions.
Toprak, also 27, came through SC Freiburg’s youth system where made 68 senior appearances, scoring four goals. In 2011, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen where he’s made 129 appearances. As a youngster, he featured for Germany at the under-19 level, but ultimately chose to represent Turkey, who he’s been capped by 23 times.
As of yet, it doesn’t seem like talks between Valencia and Arsenal will collapse. Valencia are aware of Arsenal’s center back needs and are likely looking to get as much out of the London club as possible. When you factor in the amount of TV money Premier League clubs are receiving, you can’t blame Valencia for trying.
Arsenal, on the other hand, knows Valencia are cash strapped and struggling to meet UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. In the end, money might not be the real issue for the Gunners, who are likely trying to pay as little as possible, with the knowledge that Valencia need and want the money.
In the end, an agreement is beneficial for both clubs. One club needs to buy and the other needs to sell. Arsenal gets the center back they need and Valencia the cash they are seeking. It’s still expected that the clubs will find a middle ground that suits both of them. The fact that Mustafi seems to be pushing for a move helps the cause, as well.
Crazier things have happened in the transfer window before and Arsenal fans will remain nervous about their club’s center back situation until a deal is struck.