Arsenal are "close" to agreeing £35m-plus deal for Shkodran Mustafi

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Four goals conceded during their opening day defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League said it all about how desperate Arsenal are for a new centre-back.

Through no fault of their own - injury-wise anyway - the Gunners entered the clash with Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista all out, instead starting with youngsters Calum Chambers and Rob Holding at centre-back.

Koscielny duly returned for last weekend's game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and his presence at the back helped Arsenal keep a clean sheet.


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But with Mertesacker unlikely to feature until the new year and Gabriel out until late September, a new centre-back is needed in north London - not that they didn't need one in the first place.

Well, their search is nearing an end.

According to revered BBC journalist David Ornstein, Arsenal are "close" to striking a £35 million-plus deal for Shkodran Mustafi.

It would seem Arsene Wenger has now conceded defeat after a number of failed attempts to haggle and is prepared to splash the cash on Valencia's German centre-back.

This could be a turning point for Arsenal. For years they have craved a centre-half worthy of playing alongside Koscielny and now, with Mustafi potentially at their disposal, the Gunners will have improved arguably their weakest position.

But it can't stop there - Wenger must pursue further signings before the transfer window's close next week.

Reports suggest the Frenchman is keen on Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez and whilst he isn't the world-class finisher Arsenal need, the 27-year-old represents another option and one that offers something completely different to Olivier Giroud.

Fast and energetic, Lucas - as he is known - has been likened to Jamie Vardy and after scoring 17 goals in La Liga last term for a side that finished 15th, he would undoubtedly thrive with greater quality around him.

But let's not get carried away. Wenger still has to tie up a deal for Mustafi and history tells us that won't be as straight forward as it should be.

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