Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi linked with surprise Barcelona transfer

Barcelona are being linked with a shock move for Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.

The 28-year-old has been regularly linked with a transfer away from the Gunners in recent times, but nothing materialised during the summer and he ended up staying at the Emirates.

The player's contract is set to expire in June, and this is widely expected to be Mustafi's last season in north London.

And in a surprising report in Spanish outlet Diario Sport, they claim Barcelona may be interested in signing Mustafi in January as a short-term option.

The Catalan giants are somewhat short in depth in the centre-back position, with just Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo currently battling for a place in the starting line-up.

Their manager Ronald Koeman is said to be desperate to strengthen in defence, and is still hopeful of completing a move for Manchester City's Eric Garcia in the near future.

But City are proving to be tough negotiators, and Mustafi is believed to be on Koeman's shortlist if a deal for Garcia falls through to cover as a backup from January until the end of the season.

Mustafi has barely featured for the Gunners in the current campaign, with the likes of Gabriel, David Luiz and Rob Holding seemingly all above him in Arteta's pecking order.

He has played just 44 minutes of Premier League football so far, and his only other two appearances have come in the Europa League.

Mustafi's father recently gave an update on his son's future, telling Sport1: "Nothing is ruled out, we can imagine everything, because Shkodran is [available on a] free transfer in the summer."

There was speculation at one stage that Mustafi would be offered a new contract by Arsenal, but this is looking increasingly less likely.

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