AC Milan are keen to bolster their defence this summer and are thought to be looking to start by lodging a £17m bid for Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi.
The Rossoneri have doubts around the long-term futures of both Ignazio Abate and Cristian Zapata, and their struggles defensively have left them facing the real possibility of missing out on Champions League football next season.
The German has struggled to impress for large parts of this season, and many fans have grown frustrated with his lack of consistency. He is thought to be one of five senior players who could be sold by Unai Emery this summer, and Milan are ready to take advantage of the situation.
Mustafi has Serie A experience on his CV, having spent two years with Sampdoria between 2012 and 2014. During his time in Italy, he impressed enough to earn an expensive move to Valencia, before joining Arsenal for around £36m.
However, his stock has now drastically decreased, and Tuttosport state that a fee of around £17m could be enough to tempt Arsenal into selling, given the Gunners are keen to raise funds to reinvest in their own squad.
The cost of the deal is affordable for Milan, but they still hope to use chief executive Ivan Gazidis’ links to Arsenal to try and negotiate a discount, given he used to be part of the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium.
Abate appears set to leave San Siro when his contract expires this summer, while Zapata has yet to agree on fresh terms to extend his stay at the club. There are also doubts about Mattia Caldara, who has struggled greatly with injuries since his move from Juventus. As a result, Milan have been forced to look elsewhere.
Mustafi’s experience, both at club and international level, is said to be incredibly appealing to Milan, who are desperate to find reliable defenders who can offer them years of solid service.
There are several other names on their wish list, and Mustafi is the latest to be targeted. However, Arsenal’s willingness to do the deal could see the German become one of their primary targets ahead of the summer window.