Valencia owner Peter Lim is in London to discuss Schkodran Mustafi’s potential transfer to Arsenal.
The Germany international has been strongly linked with the Gunners for much of the last week, with Arsene Wenger making him his top target to strengthen his injury-hit defence.
Mustafi has done well in La Liga and could now make his way back to England, where he previously had an unsuccessful spell with Everton as a youngster.
Lim se ha reunido con el Barça por Samper, Paco y Alves. Ahora está en Londres, Mustafi, Abennour, Albiol, Sindeihttps://t.co/jfZBTsD0z7
— General de Pie ® (@Generaldepie_) August 12, 2016
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) August 12, 2016
According to reliable Spanish-based reports, Lim is now in talks over letting the 24-year-old seal his move to the Emirates Stadium as part of a number of other meetings planned in London.
Arsenal’s interest seems strong, though they are highly unlikely to have this deal over the line in time for Mustafi to play against Liverpool on Sunday.
Sky Sports claimed yesterday that with Wenger desperate to add to his backline after a crippling set of pre-season injuries hit the club’s preparations, the value of the deal could rise up to the £30m that Valencia are thought to be demanding for the centre-back.
Reports earlier in the week had claimed that the Gunners were hoping to steal the 24-year-old away from La Liga for as little as £20m, but the Spaniards – who were managed for a period by Gary Neville last season – are holding firm.
Arsenal’s defence has fallen apart through injury in recent weeks, with Rob Holding in line for a competitive debut for the club in Sunday’s season opener against Liverpool at the Emirates.
Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for a number of months with a knee injury, while Wenger revealed on Thursday that Gabriel will miss up to two months with an ill-timed ankle injury.
Laurent Koscielny is still struggling for match fitness after taking an extended break to recover from his Euro 2016 exertions, leaving just Holding, Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik likely to be available to Wenger as his side kick off the chase for a first league title in a dozen years.