Arsenal: Arsene Wenger Close To Solving Gunners Problem

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger at StubHub Center, Carson, California, July 31. Wenger is believed to be close to securing the signing of Shkodran Mustafi. Jeff Gross/Getty

Arsenal has inched closer to securing the services of German defender Shkodran Mustafi as Arsene Wenger aims to ease the strain on his depleted defense.

Injuries to center-backs Per Mertesacker and Gabriel have left Wenger short of options in the back line with the Premier League season kicking off this weekend.

But negotiations with Valencia are believed to have edged towards a breakthrough as Arsenal is prepared to pay £20 million ($26 million) for the 24-year-old defender, according to The Times.

With Laurent Koscielny also a doubt for Arsenal's opening game with Liverpool on Sunday, Wenger is left with makeshift center-half Calum Chambers and 21-year-old new arrival Rob Holding as the only certain options at the heart of his defense.

Mustafi is unlikely to be signed in time for Liverpool's visit to the Emirates Stadium, however.

Wenger, meanwhile, is also keen on strengthening his attack. Bids for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette have been rejected and the Frenchman is reported to have turned his attentions to Manchester City flop Wilfried Bony.