Arsenal are expected to complete the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi within the next 48 hours, having agreed a five-year deal with the 24-year-old during the week.
The Mail claim that the Gunners are expected to agree a fee in the region of £30m for the Germany international, with the defender said to have agreed a contract worth around £75,000-a-week with the north London club on Thursday.
Arsene Wenger’s side are expected to continue to negotiate with the Spanish club as the week continues, with the two parties not seeing eye to eye on the Germany international’s value – but it’s believed that an agreement is close.
With Wenger desperate to add to his back-line after a crippling set of pre-season injuries hit the club’s preparations, the value of the deal looks likely to rise up to the £30m that Valencia are demanding for the centre-back.
Reports earlier in the week had claimed that the Gunners were hoping to steal the 24-year-old away from La Liga for as little as £20m, but the Spaniards – who were managed for a period by Gary Neville last season – are holding firm.
Arsenal’s defence has fallen apart through injury in recent weeks, with Rob Holding in line for a competitive debut for the club in Sunday’s season opener against Liverpool at the Emirates.
Per Mertesacker has been ruled out for a number of months with a knee injury, while Wenger revealed on Thursday that Gabriel will miss up to two months with an ill-timed ankle injury.
Laurent Koscielny is still struggling for match-fitness after taking an extended break to recover from his Euro 2016 exertions, leaving just Holding, Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik likely to be available to Wenger as his side kick off the chase for a first league title in a dozen years.