English Premiership

Valencia manager: Mustafi is not for sale

2016-08-23 12:29
Shkodran Mustafi (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Valencia manager Pako Ayestaran has dampened speculation that defender Shkodran Mustafi will be joining English Premier League side Arsenal.

Arsenal are in the midst of a defensive crisis after long-term injuries to Gabriel and Per Mertasacker, leading to calls from the fans to invest in reinforcements before the end of the transfer window.

Germany international Mustafi was said to be manager Arsene Wenger's number one transfer target but the Frenchman baulked at the £43m release clause the Spanish side insisted on.

"Mustafi is not for sale and he will stay at Valencia. The market is open and there are still possibilities," Ayestaran said in a press conference after their 4-2 loss against Las Palmas on Monday.

The former Everton trainee's absence in the fixture drove speculation in the British media but the Spaniard insists it was down to lack of match fitness and not an impending transfer.

His stance with striker Paco Alcacer, who's been linked with La Liga champions Barcelona, was the same, with Los Che looking to move forward and not sell their most prized assets.

"With Alcacer I can be as firm as with Mustafi, Lay Hoon already said it,", the 53-year old added. "The president has said in public that Alcacer and Mustafi are not for sale and I have to believe her."

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