Arsenal have made shock enquiry for La Liga champion defender amid Musafi links

Arsenal have made an approach for Barcelona’s veteran centre-back Jeremy Mathieu over the course of the past few days amid serious links with Shkodran Mustafi, according to reports from SFR Sport.

The Gunners have been hit by a series of defensive injuries over the course of the past two weeks, with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel set to miss a significant portion of the opening months of the new season, while Laurent Koscielny’s late return from EURO 2016 duty with France means he’s unlikely to feature against Liverpool on Sunday.

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With the aforementioned trio all doubts, Arsene Wenger is likely to have to turn to Calum Chambers and one of Nacho Monreal or rookie signing Rob Holding for the weekend encounter, and it’s been suggested that a move for Valencia’s Mustafi is being actively pursued in a bid to ensure the situation does not derail the London club’s season.

However, reports claim that they are also keen on Mathieu of Barcelona, with an enquiry regarding his availability having been made in the past few days.

The 32-year-old Frenchman was a part of Barca’s La Liga win last term and has been a solid squad player at the Nou Camp since his 2014 move from Valencia.

Mathieu, who can also play at left-back, has been aligned with Besiktas of late, but with his proposed switch to Istanbul dragging on, Arsenal could move in to secure him as a short-term fix.

The five-cap France international, who will turn 33 in October, has been pushed down the pecking order at Barcelona following the signing of Samuel Umtiti and may be tempted by a move.

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