We’re already two games into the new Premier League season, and Arsenal haven’t had the best of starts.
They were turned over pretty comfortably by Liverpool in their first game, before playing out a goalless draw with champions Leicester City last weekend.
And they still haven’t managed to recruit another defender, with Laurent Koscielny the only senior fit centre back available for the Gunners.
It looked like only a matter of time before Wenger added Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi to his ranks, but the Spanish side have now shifted the goalposts, after seemingly closing in on a fee earlier this month.
The German international was going to be allowed to leave the Mestalla for around £25 million, but now Pako Ayesteran and club officials have DOUBLED that price, and want £50 million for the 24-year-old, according to The Mirror.
It’s yet another blow for Wenger, who certainly hoped to have another new face before the season kicked off, never mind two games in.
He’s also getting pissed off with it, having blasted the media for asking about new signings in the post match press conference after the draw with Leicester.
During the outburst, the Frenchman said:
Unfortunately no one speaks about the performance of Rob Holding. You should be happy, he is English and 20 years old. I am sorry he didn’t cost £55 million, so he can’t be good.
We don’t speak about the performances anymore and I think that is not right.
Why do you say I’m reluctant? If I buy you tomorrow for £45m, I have spent £45m, and I would have done well because I will have listened to you, but spending the money in itself is not a quality.
If the fee for Mustafi is what has been reported, then it’s quite hard to blame Wenger for the sudden shift in price.
It’s thought that the increase is due to Valencia chasing Chelsea winger Pedro, and not having the funds to do so, meaning they need to bump up Mustafi’s value if he is to leave.
Wenger could now turn to West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans as an alternative, although Tony Pulis doesn’t want to sell the Northern Ireland international.
He may have to though, as the player seems keen to challenge himself at a top club again, after leaving Manchester United just over a year ago.
In years gone by, we’ve been treated to transfer deadline days including the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Mesut Ozil.
This year, it’s probably going to be Evans. Lucky us.