Liverpool could hand two blows to rivals Arsenal before Matchday 2 of the Premier League even arrives. After beating the Gunners 4-3 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, reports now claim that the Reds are looking to hijack Arsene Wenger’s move for German defender Shkodran Mustafi.
The Merseysiders were the very same club to make Arsenal’s defensive frailties apparent for the whole world to see, tearing apart their back four in the opening game of the 2016/17 season. With the likes of Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny missing, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers crumbled in the face of Liverpool’s attack.
Luckily for the Gunners, Koscielny will return back soon, having missed Sunday’s game merely due to a lack of match fitness. His German and Brazilian counterparts however are set for five-month and two-month spells on the sidelines respectively.
Mustafi has long been linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium, but Sky Sports recently claimed that Arsenal have made no breakthrough in their pursuit of the Valencia ace, and have thus turned their attention to two alternatives from the Bundesliga and Super Lig – Omer Toprak of Bayer Leverkusen and Simon Kjaer from Fenerbahce.
On top of that, Cadena Ser now report that Liverpool are keen on beating Arsene Wenger’s side to the German international despite having already welcomed Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan to Anfield. The victory over Arsenal has Jurgen Klopp worried over his defense as well, and the former BVB boss looks to add one more center-back before the window closes.
Furthermore, the Spanish radio station report that the Reds are offering a player-plus-cash bid for Valencia’s 23-year-old ace, with Liverpool outcast Luis Alberto tipped to head in the opposite direction. Los Ches director of football Jesus Garcia Pitarch has met with the Merseyside outfit, but no deal has been agreed for the defender.
However, a disagreement exists over the valuation of both players. Valencia believe Mustafi is worth £26m; Liverpool value Alberto at £5.2m, but neither clubs agree with these prices. Here is where Le Prof can and should step in to make sure he doesn’t lose out to his Premier League rivals.
Arsenal haven’t spent much in the current transfer window, meaning £26m won’t severely dent the club’s financial power. The Gunners are in dire need of an established defender, one who can slot right into the starting eleven at the Emirates Stadium. Mustafi ticks all the boxes, all that is left is for Wenger to reach for his wallet.
This latest saga of Liverpool’s intervention smells of Valencia doing their best to drive Mustafi’s price up.