You better believe it, we’ve got less than a week until the transfer window closes and we’re still waiting on that ‘experienced cover signing’ to replace Gabriel.
Those were the words of Arsene Wenger one month ago, and after a gruelling hourly check of Twitter we now look to have missed out on Shkodran Mustafi.
The 24-year-old has been at the top of Wenger’s wish-list but after failing to pay the asking price, Valencia have reportedly now taken their star man off the market.
Monday night saw the La Liga side’s boss Pako Ayestaran confirm that Mustafi would be going nowhere this summer, after the German international played 45 minutes of their 4-2 loss.
With time running out Arsenal have now been forced to turn their attention elsewhere, and we’ve picked out the three candidates to partner Laurent Koscielny for the majority of the season.
1 – Omer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen)
Whilst it may not be the most glamorous of signings, this one certainly tops the list following recent updates, and it could be another one of Wenger’s transfer merry-go-rounds.
Following the complications surrounding the fee to bring Mustafi to the Gunners, reliable journalism David Ornstein dusted off his Twitter login to give us some news.
He confirmed that along with Fenerbache’s Simon Kjaer, Arsenal had their eyes on Toprak as a perfect addition that posed a balance in quality and experience.
What’s the latest?
In a bid to stir up some interest, the 27-year-old recently stated that his future at Bayer Leverkusen wasn’t certain, leading us to wonder whether or not Arsenal are serious about him.
His position isn’t under threat at the Bundesliga side, but he remains frustrated of the clubs inability to challenge amongst the bigger clubs and ultimately he feels he deserves better.
So a player that’s either looking to improve his contract or force an exit, something Gunners supporters are all to use to hearing about when it comes to Arsenal interest.
However, in this situation it appears to be the latter and after Leverkusen bagged the central defensive signing of Aleksandar Dragovic from Dynamo Kiev things got a bit more interesting.
That tells us that they could now be in a position to sell their first choice defender to Arsenal, who have the cash and are quite clearly ready to do business.
Unwilling to pay over the odds is becoming a familiar theme with Wenger, but this deal could be sealed for just under £25million due to Leverkusen no longer desperate to find a last-minute replacement.
That’s something in the region of what Arsenal wanted to pay for Mustafi in order to hold back funds for a landmark striker, so we really feel like this one has legs.