Arsenal defensive crisis, Mustafi deal at £60m, Jonny Evans £25m alternative


Arsenal’s defensive crisis is no closer to resolution with Valencia playing hardball over the transfer of German international Shkodran Mustafi, 24.

Having previously been willing to deal at a lower price, the Spanish club, sensing the Gunners desperation, are demanding that they meet the €50m release clause in Mustafi’s contract. Although talks continue, Arsenal have made it clear that isn’t an option.

With the transfer deadline a week away, the north London club are widening their search, with West Bromwich Albion making it clear that Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans, 28, will not be leaving the Hawthorns for less than £25m.

Arsène Wenger’s frustration erupted in his post-match press conference on Saturday, pointing out that Rob Holding, 21, had played well. It’s becoming an increasing concern to supporters that the club’s inability to act in the transfer window will see the £2m signing presented as the defensive solution.

The French manager ordered scouts to watch Monaco centre back Marcel Tisserand, 23, although they face competition from Espanyol.

Tisserand spent the last two seasons on loan, first at Lens and then Toulouse. He has attracted the attention of St Etienne but talks over a move stalled when Arsenal’s interest materialised.

He was awarded his international debut against Romania in May and offers Arsène Wenger versatility, at home on the right and in the centre of the defence.

Whether Wenger will follow through with the interest, knowing he may lose the player in January is another matter.

DR Congo face Central African Republic in September to decide qualification for the African Cup of Nations finals in January and with no guarantee that Per Mertesacker, 32, will be fit by then, the Arsenal manager may not be keen to lose a player in a key position for a month.


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