Arsenal have agreed terms with Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi for an imminent transfer and are only left to agree a fee with the Spanish club before his move to north London. The Gunners are in the market for a defender after losing Per Mertesacker for five months with a knee injury and Gabriel for six to eight weeks following a sprained ankle in their friendly against Manchester City.
His agent, Ali Bulut, has confirmed that the Gunners have agreed a deal with Mustafi and are waiting to get the deal over the line with Valencia. The 24-year-old defender, who spent time as a teenager with Everton, is acquainted with the Premier League despite making just one appearance with the Toffees. Arsene Wenger has earmarked him as the perfect candidate to replace Mertesacker in the line-up and expedited his search after the crisis at the back.
"Shkodran and Arsenal have agreed. Now what is left is the teams to agree on a transfer fee", said Bulut, as quoted by SPOX.
However, Mustafi is unlikely to be signed in time for Arsenal's opening game against Liverpool, meaning new signing Rob Holding is set to make his Premier League debut, according to The Times. The defender, who signed from Bolton this summer, has been a regular in the Gunners line-up in the pre-season friendlies but has a task at hand to stop the Reds front three in his Premier League debut, having only been a regular for Bolton in the Championship in the second half of the season.
Laurent Koscienly is expected to miss the start of the season after being given an extended break following his commitment with France at this summer's European Championship where France made their way into the finals. He is likely to partner the German in the long term. Mustafi is an experienced campaigner following his stints in Italy and Spain and has established himself with the Germany side with some assured performances during Euro 2016.