Valencia insist they are still waiting on a concrete offer from Arsenal for defender Shkodran Mustafi, refuting reports that a £28million deal is close to completion.
The Mirror claim to have spoken to senior sources from the Spanish club, who revealed that the Gunners are yet to follow up on an initial enquiry made several weeks ago.
That stands in direct conflict with Sky Sports presenter Kaveh Solhekol, who on Monday tweeted that a deal was "getting closer" after Arsenal launched an offer worth £28m.
But it appears Arsene Wenger's indecision in the transfer market has once again come to the fore even though Valencia made it clear they would be ready to accept a bid in excess of £20m.
It would represent a good piece of business for the Gunners as the 24-year-old is widely considered to be one of Germany's best defenders; third only to Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, according to some pundits.
Arsenal fans had been hoping to see Mustafi in a red and white shirt before their next Premier League game, an away tie to champions Leicester City. The situation was made all the more urgent after they watched Wenger's side capitulate against Liverpool, conceding four goals in the space of 20 minutes at home.
A centre-back pairing of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding failed to inspire any confidence in front of a packed Emirates Stadium, with fans choosing to chant the familiar chorus of "spend some f****** money" when Liverpool's fourth goal went in.
That same pairing is likely to deputise in Arsenal's next game, especially as a deal for Mustafi appears to be much further away than anyone previously believed.
Wenger will get no help from his other defenders either. Laurent Koscielny remains unfit after his Euro 2016 exploits while Per Mertesacker (knee) and Gabriel Paulista (ankle) are nursing injuries.
Alternatively, Wenger could opt to play Mathieu Debuchy or Nacho Monreal at centre-back. Although full-backs by trade, Wenger has used them both in central positions in the past. Whoever plays, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are likely to fancy their chances.
Former Arsenal player Thierry Henry believes Wenger's problems with recruitment could be down to the fact that they are no longer one of the top choices for players around Europe. Indeed, Vardy recently rejected the chance to become a Gunner while their rivals have succeeded in signing some of the biggest stars in the game.
He told Sky Sports: "Are Arsenal still the first choice in England? If a big player becomes available on the market, first of all, can you compete? Can you put the money on the table?
"And finally does the player want to come to Arsenal? That's something we all need to take into consideration. So are we still the first choice in England? I don't think so."
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