Valencia boss Paco Ayestaran has confirmed that Shkodran Mustafi and Paco Alcacer are available for the La Liga opener against Las Palmas on Monday night (22 August), despite the duo being heavily linked with moves to Arsenal and Barcelona respectively. However, the manager refused to rule out selling the players as the club continues to struggle to meet Financial Fair Play guidelines.
Valencia have already sold the likes of Andre Gomes and Antonio Barragan during the current mercato to balance their books. Mustafi and Paco Alcacer have been heavily tipped to follow in their footsteps having attracted attention from the Emirates Stadium and the Nou Camp.
Arsene Wenger has previously admitted he is after the Germany international as the club looks to sign a new centre-back following Per Mertesacker's long-term injury.
"Mustafi? We hope it will be done," Wenger told French TV station SFR Sport, as quoted by the Evening Standard. "We are struggling to find the players we need."
The Mirror has claimed Arsenal will need to break the bank to secure his signature though, after Valencia demanded a staggering £50m ($65.4m) fee to let the player leave.
Ayestaran has now given the biggest hint yet that negotiations have stalled, after including Mustafi in his squad for the league opener against Las Palmas. The defender missed much of pre-season with an injury, but the boss has suggested he could well start the game.
"Mustafi has worked really well during the week and is one more option in the squad," Ayestaran told a press conference.
"I am counting with the entire squad. Those who are (still) here ought themselves to Valencia. They are good players and whoever play is going to do well. Every member of the squad have the same options (to be in the line-up). Obviously Mustafi would be better should he had trained more (during the pre-season) but he is good enough to be in the squad and if he is in the squad he can play."
Alcacer is leaving a similar situation after having been earmarked as Barcelona top priority to bolster the attack. Ayestaran refuses to confirm whether him or Mustafi will continue at Mestalla beyond the end of the current transfer window but added that the Spaniard is also ready to play against Las Palmas.
"Alcacer is not distracted (with the rumours about Barcelona). He's more focused than ever and training better than ever. We know that he has to improve as a player and (during the last week) he has done it more than ever."