Arsenal resorted to Shkodran Mustafi after failing to sign Bundesliga centre-back

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Six years on from Laurent Koscielny's arrival at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is finally on the verge of signing a worthy partner for the Frenchman.

Sebastien Squillaci, Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista have all tried and largely failed to plug the gap at centre-back but now, with five days remaining of the 2016 summer transfer window, a top-class defender is on his way.

Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi is the man in question with a £35 million-plus deal reportedly in the offing, subject to a medical.


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The 24-year-old is set to complete a move to the Emirates Stadium alongside Deportivo La Coruna's Lucas Perez for a combined £52 million.

However, according to the Mirror, Mustafi wasn't Arsenal's first-choice defensive transfer target.

In fact, Wenger had every intention of ditching his pursuit of the German World Cup winner when talks stalled with Valencia.

And the centre-back he wanted instead? Bayer Leverkusen's Omer Toprak.

Reports claim Wenger expressed serious interest in signing the Turkey international but failed in his attempts after refusing to pay his £40 million price tag - what a surprise.

Toprak is one of the Bundesliga's highest-rated defenders and would have added much-needed consistency at the back for Arsenal following a season where he helped Leverkusen along to an impressive third-placed finish.

What could have been.

Wenger will still be delighted by the signing of Mustafi given the German's age and ability.

Powerful and commanding, he represents the ideal partner to Koscielny who, as demonstrated over the past few years, relies more on pace than strength at the back.

Ultimately, Mustafi is a faster and more capable alternative to countryman Mertesacker.

His arrival will come at a cost to one of Arsenal's current centre-backs, though.

According to the Guardian, Calum Chambers could be sent on loan to another Premier League club to pave way for Mustafi.

When asked if Chambers' future will be affected by Mustafi's signing, Wenger said: "Future? No. The fact that he could go out somewhere and play? Yes."

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