Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta appears to have made his mind up on whether Shkodran Mustafi is good enough to be playing regularly for the Gunners.
While he spent the first few weeks of the season battling a knee injury, he has barely featured since his return to fitness.
The Germany international played 41 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City and then made a two-minute cameo against Manchester United in the 1-0 win.
He has not been included in the squad against either Aston Villa or Wolves, and was on the bench versus Leeds United.
The 28-year-old has instead been restricted to playing primarily in the Europa League, starting against Dundalk and in both games against Molde.
And it seems that he could be set for a genuinely amazing January move if reports are to be believed.
Incredibly, Barcelona are interested in signing the centre-back. That’s Barcelona. The one with Lionel Messi.
Sport Witness carries a report from Mundo Deportivo claiming that the Catalan club have a list of centre-back targets ahead of the winter window, and Manchester City’s Eric Garcia tops it.
However, Mustafi is seen as a potential alternative if Garcia cannot be snaffled away from the Etihad Stadium.
Gerard Pique is currently injured, meaning manager Ronald Koeman is on the lookout for centre-back reinforcements.
Mustafi is a target because he has experience of playing in Europe, but Barca will have to sell before they can buy.
The 28-year-old is valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Can the people at the back stop laughing?
It has to be said at this point that Barcelona just aren’t very good at transfers.
They have had far more misses than hits in recent years and the signing of Mustafi would do nothing to upend that statement.
He is an error-prone defender, he doesn’t have all that much pace, and he isn’t great in possession.
Barca might be looking because he’s cheap but that isn’t reason to do anything; he isn’t playing for Arsenal for a reason, and it’s because he’s not good enough.
If he does move to Barcelona, one has to say that he would be failing upwards.News Now - Sport News