Arsenal could be set to drop their pursuit of Barcelona centre half Jeremy Mathieu, with reports that the player suffered a hamstring injury at the weekend, The Express reports.
Mathieu is targeted by Arsenal as a short term solution to their current defensive crisis, with Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi also on the radar following injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista.
The Barcelona defender was substituted in the first half of the Blaugrana’s first 2-0 defeat of Sevilla on Sunday evening in the Spanish Super Cup.
Reports claim Mustafi is Arsene Wenger’s no. 1 target and the Gunners have tabled a £30m bid for the Germany international centre half, but if the move falls through Arsenal will go all out for Mathieu.
Arsenal expect Mustafi’s deal to be completed in time before next weekend’s Premier League fixture again Leicester City and if the transfer does not materialise, the Gunners could end the transfer window without any defensive reinforcement.
Meanwhile, Mathieu is expected to undergo further tests today to confirm the extent of his injury. Should his injury not be a severe one, Arsenal could take the risk of sealing Mathieu’s transfer to the Emirates as Wenger believes his fellow countryman would not be too expensive and his experience would count
Arsene Wenger will be hoping unfit Laurent Koscielny and the injured defensive duo of Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker recover in time to boost the team’s title tilt.