Arsenal have identified Bayer Leverkusen's Omer Toprak and Fenerbahce centre-back Simon Kjaer as alternatives if they fail to land Shkodran Mustafi. Valencia star has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in the summer transfer window.
According to Sky Sports, the German international has agreed personal terms with the north London club. However, the Gunners have yet to agree a fee with Valencia and that has resulted in a delay in the move.
The situation has forced Arsene Wenger to look at alternatives in the market as he is keen to bolster his back four for the new season. He is without the services of his two key players Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista due to injuries, with the former set to miss the rest of this calendar year.
Laurent Koscielny, who was given an extended break due to his participation in the Euro 2016 is yet to regain match fitness. The France international missed Arsenal's 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates in the opening match of the 2016/17 season. Wenger started summer signing Rob Holding and Calum Chambers in the heart of the back four against the Reds.
Mustafi was identified as the player to arrive at the Emirates in order to bolster the defence. However, failure by the Gunners to reach to an agreement over a transfer fee has seen them identify other options.
Toprak and Kjaer are both 27 years old, three years older than Mustafi. It is unlikely that Wenger will make an approach for both Leverkusen and the Fenerbahce defender, if he fails to sign the La Liga centre-half. The Arsenal boss admitted that his side were not "ready physically" for the first league clash against Liverpool.
"It is an impossible situation to get players back from the Euros and prepare. We played a very good first half and were unlucky to concede a goal just before half-time and after that, we paid for a lack of experience. We are not ready physically," Wenger explained.
"You are in a catch-22 situation with the Euros, whether to give players a rest who need it. You have to consider, as well, that we have been unlucky with losing Mertesacker and Gabriel, and having Koscielny not fit."