Arsenal Transfer News: Juventus Reportedly Keen on Shkodran Mustafi

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2018

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on May 9, 2018 in Leicester, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Juventus are keen on centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, according to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness).

Coast noted how the report named Mustafi as an "alternative" to Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng, even though the Gunners defender would cost close to €20 million (£17.7 million).

This isn't the first time Serie A giants Juve have been linked with Mustafi. Tuttosport named the Bianconeri as competition for the 26-year-old in the summer of 2017, with domestic rivals Inter Milan also interested (h/t TalkSport).

There is reason to believe Mustafi could be available this summer, especially after James Olley and Giuseppe Muro of the London Evening Standard recently reported Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has "doubts over" the former Valencia man.

Mislintant is reportedly unsure about Mustafi's future at Arsenal.
Mislintant is reportedly unsure about Mustafi's future at Arsenal.TF-Images/Getty Images

Mislintat's doubts are well-founded since Mustafi has generally struggled mightily since moving to north London from La Liga in 2016. He cost the Gunners as much as £35 million but has rarely lived up to the price tag, recording a slew of mistakes and uninspiring performances.

He was exposed twice during a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United back in April, leading to more criticism:

Mislintat has had a bigger say in transfers since Arsene Wenger stepped down as manager in May and was replaced by Unai Emery. Arsenal's new era has already included adding a central defender in Greece international Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Not everybody is convinced by the new signing, though, with some expressing reservations even before the deal was concluded:

Signing Papastathopoulos isn't the only way the Gunners have addressed defence, with the club recently inking Calum Chambers to a new contract:

The 23-year-old is part of a trio of young centre-backs hoping to become permanent first-team fixtures, along with Rob Holding, 22, and 20-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos. Their presence, as well as Papastathopoulos' arrival, could make Mustafi expendable, even if Laurent Koscielny is out until at least December after surgery to fix an Achilles tendon injury.

Mustafi's future looks on shakier ground when you consider Arsenal may not be done adding experienced defenders. The Gunners are keen on Juve's Medhi Benatia, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Charlie Malam of the Daily Express).

Arsenal need a revamp in defence after conceding 51 goals in 38 Premier League matches last season. Mustafi was part of those issues, so it makes sense to move him on, even if Koscielny's recovery means the club would also be wise to add another centre-back this summer.

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