Arsène Wenger really isn’t helping himself.
After only picking up one point from a possible six in the first two games of the new Premier League season, Arsenal are in desperate need of recruitment.
The only problem is that it doesn’t seem to be around the corner.
A centre-back and a striker are the priorities, and the primary target for the first role is Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal’s chase of the Germany international has been made rather public by the media, to the extent where post-match interviewers are now asking Wenger about Mustafi directly, rather than just about the ‘centre-back’ role in general.
That is, at least, what happened on Saturday night when an SFR Sport journalist pressed the French manager about the Valencia centre-back, asking him ‘is it going to get done?’:
He said: “Listen, we’re looking at a lot of options. He’s one of them… It’s being negotiated behind closed doors.”
— SFR Sport (@SFR_Sport) August 20, 2016
It’s worth pointing out Wenger doesn’t actually name Mustafi, but rather acknowledges him after the journalist pressed him for an answer.
Wenger was also asked about the money the club have to spend, and he explained: “First of all, it’s not my money. Then, spending money is good, but it’s not enough. You need to spend money on excellent players, which we’re struggling to identify at the moment.
“On the other hand, we also need to be responsible. We’re a company of 600 employees, you need to pay everyone at the end of the month.”
Frankly, we’re still struggling to come to terms with that last sentence.
The bottom line is, it seems the German is a target for Arsenal, but there’s also ‘a lot of options’.
Deporte Valenciano on Saturday claimed the sale of both Mustafi and Abdennour would be ‘a matter of days’.
If this is true, Wenger is really being discreet about it all, and trying to downplay their interest.
Valencia are in need of money due to FFP restrictions, and they need it fast.
Something will happen, but will it be Mustafi, will it be Abdennour or will it be both?