Barcelona are lining up a surprise bid to sign Shkodran Mustafi during the January transfer window as the German defender prepares to leave Arsenal on a free. Mustafi has told the Gunners that he won’t sign a new contract at the Emirates.
Barcelona are on the hunt for a new centre-back after failing to sign a new option during the summer.
The Catalans prioritised midfielders during the previous window, and Sergio Dest was their only defensive signing.
Now, however, they are looking for a new centre-back to provide another option to Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.
Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger is believed to be an option, due to his precarious position under manager Frank Lampard.
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However, in recent weeks it seems he could have more of a chance of getting into the starting eleven.
He is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this season, but has made a couple of appearances in the Champions League.
And it seems Lampard is prepared to offer him a route back into the starting XI, which could lead to Barca looking elsewhere.
RMC Sport claim that Mustafi is Barca’s second option if they are unable to sign Rudiger, and they are reportedly prepared to launch a bid when the January window opens.
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The 28-year-old spent two seasons in Spain with Valencia before sealing his move to Arsenal in 2016.
His familiarity with La Liga makes him a good prospect for the Catalans. (just because not many Arsenal fans would call him exciting!)
Mustafi recently told Arsenal that he won’t sign a new contract, and wants to leave either when his contract expires in 2021 or in the upcoming winter window.
It has been claimed that the Gunners could look to offload him during January in order to lose him for free, with William Saliba then potentially jumping up in the pecking order.
The same report from French outlet RMC Sport claims Barcelona were lining up Liverpool’s Joel Matip as another option, but have now closed the door on that possibility.
Liverpool are in the midst of an injury crisis at the back, with all of their first-choice back-four currently injured.
Matip is the only senior option who is available after Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson all suffered injuries in recent weeks.
For that reason, Barca have abandoned their bid to sign him and will move on to other options.
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