Arsenal has started their new Premier League campaign with a draw and a loss in their opening two matches, a far cry from the squad that finished second on last term’s table. In order to stop the early bleeding from outright gushing, manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly perusing the transfer market to make sure the losing doesn’t get out of control.
Wenger, who may have to act quickly as the transfer window shuts on Thursday, Sept. 1, is aiming for Valenica and Germany’s World Cup winning defender Shkodran Mustafi, as well as Porto winger Yacine Brahimi, and continues his exploration of Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The first two moves are viewed as consolation prizes following Wenger’s failed overtures to land 21-year-old Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez.
According to Daily Mirror, Wenger’s initial pursuit of Mustafi ended because his price was too rich and while Valencia are asking for upwards of £50 million for him the Gunners may have an opening. The Spanish side are chasing Chelsea’s Pedro and require funds to make an offer, funds that a top defender like Mustafi can fetch.
The report stresses that Arsenal may wait out Valencia’s demand since their desire and need for Pedro is quite evident, and are looking to pay roughly £25 million and will offer the 24-year-old Mustafi a four-year deal.
The Mirror also reports that, after failing to pry Riyad Mahrez from Leicester, Brahimi could be purchased for £40 million as he wants to leave his Portuguese side due to a lack of pitch time on the biggest stages. The Algerian’s reportedly unhappy he was left out of Porto’s Champions League qualifier.
Sky Sports reported Monday that Everton are also trying to land Brahimi, but the 26-year-old wants to play in Champions League, which strongly favors Wenger and Arsenal in the bidding.
Though Mustafi will come at a very expensive price and there’s competition for Brahimi, both might be more preferable that engaging in a bidding war for Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
The 27-year-old Frenchman’s been in Wenger’s purview for some time, but Express reports a new team has joined Arsenal and Everton in the race to land Sissoko’s services. The report stresses new Inter Milan manager Frank De Boer, who was only recently hired this summer to replace Roberto Mancini, wants to sign Sissoko.
Newcastle are reportedly demanding £35 million for Sissoko, a fee Wenger could have perhaps negotiated down with only Everton in the mix, but a third team and a fresh, ambitious Inter Milan boss looking to make an immediate splash could complicate matters.