Arsenal fans are in for some bad news following Valencia manager Pako Ayestaran’s insistence that Shkodran Mustafi will not be sold.
Arsenal have been in hot pursuit for the defender following a succession of injuries to their first choice centre backs Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker.
Manager Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his interest in Mustafi but Valencia are adamant they will keep hold of the German and are refusing to contemplate his sale.
Valencia, who have often been forced to sell their star assets in recent years to meet financial regulations, have already sold star midfielder Andre Gomes to Barcelona.
‘Mustafi is not for sale and will not be leaving the club,’ Ayestaran told reporters following a 4-2 home defeat to Las Palmas in their La Liga opener on Monday, reports Goal.
Mustafi was absent for Valencia’s opening day defeat, but the coach explained this was due to an injury to the player. Meanwhile, the future of talented forward Paco Alcacer has also come under scrutiny, with Barcelona again rumoured to be the interested party.
‘With Alcacer I can be as firm as with Mustafi, [club president] Lay Hoon already said it. The president has said in public that Alcácer and Mustafi are not for sale and I have to believe her,’ Ayestaran concluded.
Arsenal will have a chance to bounce back from an underwhelming start to the season when they face Watford away at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 16:00.