Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Manager hopeful over Mustafi deal

Arsene Wenger says he’s hopeful that the club can conclude a deal for Shkodran Mustafi as he looks to bolster Arsenal’s defensive ranks.

The Gunners have been linked with the 24 year old for weeks now, but appear no closer to finalising the transfer with Valencia, with Wenger admitting the club are ‘struggling’ to add the squad before the close of the transfer window.

“Mustafi? We hope it will be done,” he said following the 0-0 draw against Leicester.

“We are struggling to find the players we need. I will spend £300m if I find the player and if I have the £300m.

“If you find players who can strengthen our team, then we are not reluctant to spend the money.”

It seems the delay with the German international is down to the price, as personal terms were apparently agreed some time ago.

The La Liga side are strapped for cash and Arsenal could be playing hardball to get the best price from them.

With Laurent Koscielny now back in the squad, the urgency is not quite what it was although the three points dropped last weekend against Liverpool remain a bone of contention.

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Daft Aider

seems to be zero chance of a striker at this point though

Wenger's X

Whatever happens, happens!


Wilfred Bony. Not want we want/expect but he’d work out just fine for us.


This is a whole load bucket of ?. What’s with all the £300 million thingy? We couldnt get Higuain for £40 million for the first time. And we couldn’t get him for £80million for the second time. Is he available? Yes. Do we need a striker? Yes. Is he an upgrade over our current strikers? Yes. But we still couldnt get him. It’s all starting to make sense now. As Henry has mentioned, we are now unable to attracted the type of talent players that we want. We got Ozil, cos RM is selling him as they free the funds… Read more »


There’s also a risk in spending so much money. He could become a top flop.


Unless it’s a last minute deadline bargain, I agree. Mind you; I’m not keen on Wenger’s eye for a striker in recent years to be honest. Plenty of 3* young players who never improved – Bentner, Vela, etc and a few 4* players who aren’t fit enough or quite good enough to make the difference – Eduardo, Giroud, Welbeck.

We need an Ozil/Sanchez class 5* striker.


Really.. Eduardo not good enough to make a difference? We would’ve won the league that year (07/08) had he not suffered the horrible leg break.. I will always remember that season as the best recent Arsenal season until that point


Saving 3 million dollars and losing 5points.

Great Dane

Oh yes, because we didn’t keep a clean sheet against Leicester. Why this constant need for exaggeration?


We only kept a clean sheet because we got ridiculously lucky with the refereeing decisions.


Also an argument to be made that we were able to keep the clean sheet because we set up very defensively in the midfield, which maybe we wouldn’t have had to do had we had an experienced, international center-back in the squad to partner with Kosc… Clearly just conjecture, but there is no doubt that defensive weakness affects the entire squad, not just the amount of goals conceded.

Alex L

Yeah, because it was definitely not having another centerback which cost us 2 points in a 0-0 draw…

Tired Gooner

Not having a striker surely did tho…

See you ignore the first game in your remark as well.

Stringer Bell

That’s become the likely outcome now. Because of injuries to centre backs we will now buy Mustafi and I doubt get the forward we desperately need. My fear is that next year Ozil and Sanchez go. I’m not sure about the club looking great for the future, I think we may be in for a big fall. He cannot see outside his bubble. It’s very sad


Unless we win the EPL or the CL (!!!!!) one, or possibly both of Sanchez and Ozil won’t renew. So we’ll have to sell next summer, or they go on a Bosman the following year. Where that will leave us this time next year, is anyone’s guess. But it will be nowhere good.


With an experienced defence we could have started Santi in CM and had more creativity, instead of playing two DMs. Doesn’t guarantee we win, or even get the draw but having better, more experienced players is always the preferred choice, no?


as long as you outscore the opposition! 😀


You forget a centre back does a bit more than just defend.


Remember when we didn’t get alonso from Liverpool because arsenal wouldn’t pay for his 4 zone oyster card

Jeremy O Dwyer

In fairness, the Alonso deal fell through because Benitez wanted to replace Alonso with Gareth Barry. To fund the deal for Barry he made it known that he was open to offers for Alonso. He tried to get Barry but Villa wouldn’t sell so in the end there was no point in selling Alonso. There are many legitimate reasons for concern and frustration with how Arsenal seem to operate, but there’s no need to spread lies to make Arsenal look worse. I’ve made note of your username, and now that you know the truth ill be watching you,and if you… Read more »


He’s right about the fact that people always want big money signings even if they’re not able to justify the fee. Take Lacazette as an example, he’s a good player but no where near worth £60 mil. This is a player who couldn’t get ahead of GIGNAC in the French team. He’s scoring goals in the French league as did Chamakh and Park Chu Young. As much as we know he could turn out into a flop and all the blame would go on Wenger for spending money on him. People need to be reasonable on who they want at… Read more »


While this is a valid point, I don’t think this applies to Mustafi. He is a proven talent, and world cup winner might I add, available at a respectable and entirely doable price. On Lacazette, however, I agree

Jeremy O Dwyer

I agree. I’m pretty relaxed about Arsenal transfers. I’ve realized getting mad about them isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference in the long run. But he clearly wants the player, the player wants to come, and his club are willing to sell, at what seems like a reasonable enough price in today’s market. Saying publicly he wants the player, and is willing to spend if a player he wants becomes available, and yet appearing to stall over what must be, in modern football terms, a small amount of money, seems to contradict that. Maybe the deal is… Read more »


Tbh 2-3 million isn’t peanuts even if the club earns as much as Arsenal does. What is upsetting is the timing of the stalling. Considering our resources in that position plus the additional time we’ll need to get Mustafi up to speed, we should’ve paid the asking price. Now it looks like we’ll get the player but see him in action post the intl break… That’s assuming Germany doesn’t call him up


Fair point. Then why don’t put a load of money on the table for a Lewandowski or Griezmann caliber player then? Can’t say “they won’t sell” if we haven’t even tried..

A Different George

Well, let’s be realistic. How many “Lewandowski or Griezmann quality players” are there, besides the two themselves? For Lewandowski, Bayern have no history of selling a player they want to keep, at any price. On the contrary, they keep buying strong players even when they have no apparent need for them. Atletico is another story. If Griezmann wanted to come to England (for which there is not the slightest indication), then Atletico would probably sell him, though maybe demanding a Bale- or Pogba-like price. Who else? Three at Real Madrid, three at Barca, and maybe one at Dortmund and one… Read more »


I would throw Griezmann into the ‘not available’ category. He just signed an extension in June til 2021. He would cost a ridiculous amount over the top to get him out of that contract.


Completely agree with you on that one, Rosickylegend7. I guess the things we would look for in a striker are what kind of player are they and what type of goals do they score – poachers, screemers, driblers, runners? How are their link-up play? Are they cool finishers and so on. From what I’ve seen in Lacazette (admittedly on youtube) he seems to score a lot of poachers + penalties. That’s certainly a quality we need but more a quality we need from our current strikers. But to stand out as a world class player you have to have more… Read more »


This is rubbish, we don’t have to buy world class to strengthen. Right now we have one out and out striker in Giroud. And one striker/winger in Welbeck who is badly injured. Any good striker would help as we are short of bodies. Giroud will tire and it helps to throw on someone at the same time to go two up top. Look at Chelsea with Batisya (so?) or Spuds with Janssen, who looks decent. Just an extra body will really help us right now. We could afford both those players as well. Janssen is probably on shit wages as… Read more »


I agree about justifying the fee and in this context Wenger’s somewhat defensive/sarcastic point made regarding Holding not costing 55 million pounds has merit when you look at what Man Shitty paid for Stones, Mangala and Otamendi combined (well over 115 million pounds, which is crazy and wasteful by anyone’s standards)! The problem for Wenger is that supporters know he has an unspent war chest, and while it is not as big as Manure’s it is not like we are Hull City either. I know people are frustrated and impatient and God knows we all want to win a title… Read more »


I have to respectfully disagree. While I’m not convinced Lacazette is the answer, he seems about as close as we’re going to get currently and for me that’s worth. I think he’s got technique, speed, skill and most of all is a pretty clinical goal scorer, which seems to be pretty much what we need and are hopefully looking for. Having ozil provide for someone like that makes my mouth water. But of course, he may not be the Messiah in which case we can still flog him for 30m+ in 1 or 2 seasons. But one thing is sure,… Read more »


Have watched lacazette keenly over 20 times in the last year and am really really not convinced about him. Maybe I watched the matches where he was shit.
Spending 40mplus on him seems like an unpardonable sin to me. Don’t appreciate our dithering but support Wenger on this one. Maybe he can become world class but am not so sure

Old Father Time

Kaine, you’re right, I think. The guy has scored lots of goals in a league which is much lower in class to our own. When it came to the crunch – Euro 2016 – the France manager obviously considered him inferior to both Giroud and Gignac (Christ, even him !) – so where’s the improvement for Arsenal ? Once again Leicester have run rings around us in the transfer market – AHMED MUSA comes in at £15 million from CSKA Moscow…and here they’ve got someone who will really scare defenders. Meanwhile, back at the Bank of England, we’ve also loaned… Read more »


Yeah right. And we made that ridiculous bid for Suarez cos we weren’t sure if he’d be a flop as well


Which is why I have this nagging feeling that James Rodriguez could be on our radar. He was once again left out in their opening match yesterday (which they won). Considering we went for both Ozil and Alexis under the same circumstances, could it be possible we are doing the same thing with James?

Jeremy O Dwyer

That’s the kind of deal I could see happening too. A talented player, who’s maybe underappreciated at a big club.

He might not fill an immediate need in first team (arguably),
but he would no doubt considerably improve the squad.

If he is available would you bring him to Arsenal?


Fyi James Rodriguez is David Ospina’s brother-in-law. Arsenal connection is already in place!


It’s just getting ridiculous now. The player is keen. The selling club is keen. The buying club is keen. The money, and then some, is unequivocally there. And the need is desperately fucking dire. Why are we stringing this out?


I expect Valencia want to squeeze as much money out of this transfer as they can. I doubt the original reports of €25mil were anywhere near correct. My guess is that they’re holding out for a fee of around £30mil which, even in todays market, is a lot of money for a CB.

Sideshow _bob

Coz going for an obvious straightforward target is not the Arsenal way. We love to complicate simple deals till some club steps in and swoops the player in an instant. Imagine if Chelsea get him now. Will be so typical of us
Ps: That Alonso deal still hurts ?

Indian Gooner

I totally understand what you are trying to say here mate but there was report last week that I was reading which stated, Mustafi had a slight niggle and Arsenal were waiting to see if it was just a minor injury and that was what was getting the deal delayed a bit.. which did make sense.

So I am not so sure, if it was just the money that was getting the deal delayed. But then again you never know with Arsene.


Imagine this:
V: would you do 20 mil
A: yes, deal
V: well then would you do 22
A: fine,deal
V: well then how about 26?
A: ok 26 but no more.
V: 30 is our final offer!

No, idea what is going on but if it was like this and I was AW I’d be getting annoyed too

Ducks sake

Yep you’re right. You have absolutely no idea!

Why would Valencia be making offers for their own player.


The frustration is most clear in this Mustafi deal. Part of the World Cup winning squad and a full German international, available at a knock down price in this market. We still struggle to do a deal when the team is bereft of options at the back. I am just surprised nobody else has nipped in and taken him.


I don’t like the way Wenger makes his arguments at the extremes. €300m.

I also would like to see a journalist throw him a couple of names when he says the quality is not there.

As we’ve said before, I hope we’re not waiting for Wenger to find a striker listed in the classifieds


Too much hoping for deals to happen. Everything has to be right for Wenger to part way with the clubs money. This deal should’ve happened after Mertesacker injury. Can’t say I’m hopeful of a striker coming in. I’d love to have the optimism of fans who think we’ll spend big on a player like Griezman but sadly years of the same old ineptitude has made me pessimistic.

Stewart Robson's therapist

We should have had the deal done even before that, purely because we need greater quality in that position!

Injury Crisis FC

Come on! Wenger doesn’t do the negotiating. If he’s saying that he’s hoping it’ll be done it probably means it’s at the stage where Mustafi is packing his bags and Valencia are writing him a goodbye card. The only problem at this stage is that Mustafi might get lost on his way to the Emirates.

emmanuel ndiokwere

I think the team played well yesterday though this opinion might have been influenced by my low expectations of the team following last week end’s result and our lack spending to strengthen the squad. Regarding Mr. Wenger’s comments about fans being influenced by the media I think one is better served not listening to the annoying and frustrating things that come out of this man’s mouth. I run the risk of sounding like a broken record if I repeat here that Arsenal will not win any major trophies again until the club got rid of Arsene Wenger. He has turned… Read more »


There’s that line again ‘if we can find the right player’ Unbelievable.
What the hell are Arsenal paying their scouts for? Surely there must be a list of possible targets well before the transfer window opens. It’s a bit late to start looking now.

Injury Crisis FC

I think by finding he means getting. He’s an economist, he wants to maximise the quality he can buy with the money that is available. Even if that means waiting to the last day of the transfer window, our waiting for the next transfer window ?

Dial square

Absolutely agree, running around in the bargain aisle, looking at the dented tins as a last minute panic buy.
Surely we identified our targets months ago??

Indian Gooner

Thank fuck for this! Please get it done.. Finally something positive. It could be a terrific signing. We’ve got a solid midfield. If we get a solid defensive set up as well, we could still be challenging for the title.. you know what I mean? But having said that, signing a forward has also got to be a must. Signing someone in the mould of Draxler could also be a massive bonus. Bring all the Germans in now, I say. ‘ Football is a simple game, 22 Players chase the ball but at the end The Germans always win’ –… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Well Campbell has just gone out on loan leaving us short in the wide positions. I wonder if Gnabry is his replacement.


Great comment mate. But Germany did lose last night 😉 On the bright side Gnabry looked very good for the most part, as he did all tournament.


Arsene is gambling with every single thing. We would have won leicester if he had started giroud & ozil, we wouldnt have lost to those mug smashers if koscielny was there to organise the defence(every other players at the euro
finals are already playing for their clubs) & ramsey was not on the pitch… if you NEED to buy a player, identify him which he has done well over a month ago & pay for him rather than looking for a bargain like a petty trader


Lets just hope Kos doesnt get injured. Gambling on a players fitness always works out for us.

Indian Gooner

This sort of negativity is not good mate. Why even talk about one of our best players getting injured?

Goonian indie

Isn’t he just stating the obvious concern over how thin we are in the CB department at the moment? Of all the comments on this page, was this the one you felt the most pessimistic?

Malaysian gunner

Defence has been aproblem area for years and yet Wenger doesn’t bother to fix it asap.
Cds like Williams were available but no move was made. This is dereliction of duty.
next match against Watford. Another loss will be simply unacceptable though there are no
easy games.
Burnley have beaten Pool. So don’t be surprised the Hornets give a fatal sting.

Andrew Jones

Imagine if we signed Mustafi when Vela was here, could have had Shkod and Chips in the lineup.

I’m sorry.

Olawale Olayemi

No, you’re not


The point remains he has failed to win the league for so many seasons and our team has not even been in a close fight.
Has he completed a squad which can truly challenge for the league? No
So has he bought the required quality( for cheap or for more I don’t care)? No
Was he given enough time to build a team? Bloody yes
Was there enough resources? Yes
What fucking excuse does he have?


Mustafi included in Valencia squad for tomorrow. If this happens it won’t be anytime soon.


Guys, blogs, I have a question: I thought that it was conluded in some previous tranfer windows that whenever a report says that we have agreed on personal terms with a certain player, then the story is a load of BS, because to get to that level (negotiating with a player himself) first the fee needs to be accepted by the selling club. Now I see that for weeks the articles are claiming that we agreed everything with the player and “now we need to agree on the fee with Valencia”. It is not logical to me, for the reasons… Read more »


The issue is that Arsene, Ivan, and players themselves have said they need re-inforcements. And with no action in the marketplace, the media fills that void. I think it is quite clear the media often have no idea what is going on, and just make stuff up that fits the narrative. Taking The Sun as an example, it is amazing how price and valuation has fluctuated so much among just one media source. When you start comparing to everything else that is said in the media, it is quite clear nobody knows. So Arsenal have led to their own demise… Read more »

Troy McClure

Shit or get off the toilet, Arsene


This is tiresome. Look at theast two teams we played. Liverpool bought Sadio Mane for 30£ and Leicester bought Musa for 16.6£. Mane terrorised out defence and made the 4th goal out of nothing and Musa was a spark as soon as he came on that wing and realistically should have won a penalty for his team at the end of the game. Both of those players are fantastic bright sparks, didn’t cost alot of money and are making instant impacts. They couldn’t have done the same for us? Where were our scouts when those guys were getting bought?? I… Read more »


I know (hopefully) none of us want Benteke at the Arsenal but I do wonder if we did go in for him, how much extra we would’ve had to pay in addition to the 27 mil Palace paid for him? My best guess would be at least another 5 mil. This is why Wenger and our “shrewd” money men are no doubt very frustrated with the current market and the extortionate fees we are obviously being asked to pay, even from clubs like Valencia who desperately need the dosh. Still think it’s very annoying that we can surely afford to… Read more »

Arteta Fan

Remember when following was about the game? When Wenger says the media influences things…he is correct. All the hype over the last 10 years about big $$ buyers of teams, players, stadiums, coaches. All of this constant daily information overload. All the misinformation about who bid what and when. Now we have the ” mob ” who think they know what is going on and even worse think they know what should be done, when, by who and how much it should cost. David Moyes is now a marginalized manager because of the perceptions created as well as Wenger. Conte… Read more »


Agree. It is almost like it is more important to buy new shiny players than actually have a long term plan to succeed on the pitch. Nowadays Wenger really can’t win. I wonder what kind of signing would actually make the fans pleased, probably a striker like Lewandowski or Cavani (neither is available) or Griezmann (doesn’t want to come). These players are constantly linked to Arsenal by the tabloids even though none of them is ever (probably) going to sign for Arsenal which leads to fans being disappointed at Wenger “failing to sign a world class striker”that was never really… Read more »


You two smart guys, remember the summer when we could have gotten Higuain for 37M? Now 3yrs later, at 29 (almost), a bit fat and with less top level years ahead of him he went to Juve for 94M. That summer we also could have had Suarez (if we offered 50-55 M maybe Liverpool would not be so inclined to make a deal with him, a new contract and push us out of the equation), even if he did prefer Barca above all else. So it seems that we could have had a top striker 3 years ago. Also, when… Read more »


Always easy to look back and say “you ajiikd have done that and that”. I bet people would have been complaining if Wenger had signed a “ac Milan reject” in Aubameyang (though he signed from St Etienne I think?) and you don’t know if he had become the same player with our system and a tougher league. Higuain wasn’t signed because of Ozil and the lack of proper transfer funds at the time? Bacca would have been a good signing agree. But you must also take into consideration that not every player automatically wants to join arsenal even if we… Read more »


Think that should read as…top top qualitee but at knock down, bargain basement prices and even then we’ll stall dither and try get an extra quid or two knocked off the asking price


You also have to entertain the possibility that Valencia are the ones stalling. They may be hoping to secure a replacement defender before sanctioning the deal. Or hoping some other club comes in with a better offer for mustafi.

Honestly on the fan side, all we know at this point is largely down to speculation, and everyone is coming to their own conclusions. Which for a large number of fans seems to be that Wenger is incompetent and delusional.

I get the frustration, but the anger is a bit disproportionate.

Brendan Rodgers' self portrait

Colour me puzzled. Even if we had signed Mustafi in May would he not have been rested like Mesut against Liverpool due to Euro exertions?


Well, sort of. A center back doesn’t get as tired as a CAM and he also didn’t play every game like Ozil did IIRC. My memory is he came into the team on the 2nd or 3rd game after Boateng’s injury.

Brendan Rodgers' self portrait

Ah I see. Cheers. I also thought Mustafi had been nursing an injury and training away from the squad. Either way hope to see him in our squad this time next week.


This. But I still think that it will be considered “5 lost points” and “title race over” because he wasn’t signed earlier, even though we kept a clean sheet against Leicester.


I still cannot understand the angst regarding Arsene’s transfer dealings. Right in the beginning we paid big money for a midfielder. Did that transfer drag on. Was it bargain basement shopping by Wenger? can you imagine Arsenal paying that kind of money for a player like Xhaka even 3-4 years ago? We wanted a CB and he gor a very good guy in Holding who played a full season in Championship. People blame him for starting Ramsey early and not starting Kos. Why? You have just lost 2 experienced CBs in pre season. you exoect him to be stupid and… Read more »


Exactly spot on. There is a bit of trepidation playing your one last experience Cback early and if he should get a knock, the same dissenting voices will have their knives out all too eagerly. Its a no win situation for Wenger. OTOH, I do feel, Koscielny should have at least be optional for second half. We know Santi was also carrying a slight knock from pre-season but I think he should have come on against Liverpool and to that extent maybe Granit too in second half and earlier. But I think a lot of the hesitation in committing these… Read more »


He also made a big mention on Holding’s performance which I thought was very decent for a young Cback against a good PL team. Wenger is correct. The media wants spending. You get a player like Mangala and Otamendi which cost City 55m. They were calamitous last season for City despite media endorsement. But you won’t hear the media admit it. OTOH, as good as HOlding has been, the fans know we will suffer without the experience beside him. Koscielny made a big difference and short of Per and Gabriel, we lack sufficient back up. I think Wenger recognises this… Read more »


We can take it that the Mustafi deal is virtually done and should be announced next 48 hours or so, as Wenger never talks about specific players unless he knows it’s done. Will be great to have another quality CB and one for the long term.

In terms of CF it’s still a major problem. Giroud will make us stronger now he’s back the need for competition is also bad it’s scary. Alexis needs to play out wide or just off a CF like he does for Chile, otherwise we ain’t getting the best from him


I think you’re right.

This is a positive note from the gaffer.

If we were still some ways away, he would not mention the player even.

Looks like we are working through the contracts.


We really missed one with Lukaku I think. Young, quicker than Giroud, no adjustment time needed that players from other leagues sometimes need and he wanted to leave for champions league. Sure he may of cost 55m but of the available forwards he was closet to being worth it IMHO (Barring the clearly world class forwards)

Maybe hes too similar to Giroud? We’ll never know.
A centre forward is priority. Sanchez should play on the left. Giroud goes injured and/or has a goal drought we are proper fucked.


Mustafi in and 10 days to find a striker. Javier Hernandez could be a perfect alternative/supplement to Giroud, if available. Hard to see Leverkusen selling so late in the window though. Would tick a lot of boxes. Still think Wenger has a plan, he wouldn’t have bid on Vardy if he didn’t think we needed a striker.


And considering the price he might bring Mustafi in for, he has got to get it right. Look at last season, City bought Otamendi/Mangala (at behest of press who said we missed out) for a whopping combine 55m. They were a poor pairing. They also added Sterling for 49m to marginal effect and somewhat better De Bruyne for 55m. Wenger has made poor signings galore but because the market knows and he buys generally lower price range, most of those misses do not cost us to bottom line. With the premium priced players in recent seasons, Wenger has been spot… Read more »


I will spend £300 Million, if I have £300 Million.
Yeah me too.


I have been into the future to the year 2019 and I can tell you that the Mustafi deal was still on-going…:-)


nice one santori?

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