Arsenal Target New Central Defensive Pair as Potential Shkodran Mustafi Deal Continues to Stall

Arsenal have turned their attention to the potential signings of Omer Toprak of Bayer Leverkusen and Simon Kjaer of Fenerbahce as an alternative to Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, according to ​Sky Sports.

Injuries to central defenders Per Mertesacker and Gabriel have left the Gunners short of numbers in the position, and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny was absent from the team that lost to Liverpool on Sunday because of a lack of fitness after Euro 2016.

The Gunners had identified Mustafi as the man they wanted to bring in to bolster their options, the ​Mail reports, though Valencia want £30m for the Germany international. Arsenal are continuing to drag their heels on a potential deal as they value the player at closer to £20m.

Mustafi has agreed in principle a five-year deal to join Arsenal, though even while he’s ready to make the move to London, nothing will be completed unless the club and Valencia can reach an agreement. It’s reported that Valencia are not willing to budge on their valuation as the close of the transfer window gets closer.

With a deal for Mustafi stalling, the Sky Sports report claims that Toprak and Kjaer are among the alternatives should they fail to reach an agreement with Valencia. The two players, both 27, would represent cheaper options for Wenger to get his hands on, as he continues to be prudent over the money Arsenal spend in the transfer market this summer.

Arsenal are also believed to be in the market for a centre forward, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon featuring high on their shopping list.

source: 90min

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