Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to discuss the speculation surrounding Schkodran Mustafi’s potential move to the Emirates. He rather prefers to remain tight-lipped.

A deal for the German international most likely to be completed within the next 24 hours.

But when asked specifically whether the 24-year-old would be joining the club, Wenger said: “No. I cannot tell you.”

He said: “I am looking at no other areas apart from centre back, it’s about quality.”

Arsenal are said to have agreed on terms with Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi ahead of a big-money move, as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his ailing defence ahead of the new season.

The Gunners are expected to continue to negotiate with the Spanish club as the week continues, with the two parties not seeing eye to eye on the Germany international’s value.

Sky Sports report 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.


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