Arsenal have turned their attention to Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi as Arsene Wenger looks to bring in a central defender following the injury to Per Mertesacker. The German defender suffered a knee injury during the Gunners' first pre-season game and has been ruled out for around five months after undergoing surgery earlier this week.
"We have to look for an option to get a bit more experience. We will see some of our young centre backs on Thursday as well. With Per being out, we are a bit short on the experience front and we are looking to bring somebody in," Wenger told Arsenal's official site.
According to the Mirror, the French manager is looking at options to add to his ranks at centre-back as Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista are his only senior options at the moment, both of whom are currently absent. The former is on holiday following his participation in Euro 2016, while the latter is ill, which has seen him remain in London rather than travel with the team for their tour of the US.
Calum Chambers and summer signing Rob Holding are the only recognised centre-halves at the moment and one of them is likely to start when Arsenal take on Liverpool in the first game of their Premier League season. The 21 and 20-year-old respectively are likely to be paired when Arsenal play the MLS All Stars and Chivas de Guadalajara in the coming days.
Mustafi, according to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope is available for transfer this summer with Valencia pricing him at €25m (£20m, $27.6m) and Wenger is keen to add him to the roster to cover for the loss of his compatriot. The 24-year-old is aware of the Premier League after spending two and a half years with Everton, but he made just one appearance for the Toffees before moving to Sampdoria. He excelled in Italy before securing a move to Valencia and also forced his way into the Germany set-up making the squad for the recently concluded European Championships.