Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger are both reportedly centre-back options for Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are in need of new defensive recruits after veteran stopper Gerard Pique recently suffered a knee injury.
And Mundo Deportivo, as cited by caughtoffside, claims that while Manchester City’s Eric Garcia remains an option, Mustafi and Rudiger are also now targets.
Mustafi has struggled for game time at the Emirates after an inconsistent spell in north London. However, his experience of playing in Spain with Valencia makes him an interesting prospect for Barca.
Rudiger has also fallen completely out of favour under Frank Lampard, although he did earn a rare start at Newcastle recently.
Many experts claim the Germany star remains the best defensive option to partner Thiago Silva. However, Lampard appears to favour Kurt Zouma at the heart of Chelsea’s defence.
Despite Covid-19 having an impact on finances at Barca, Ronald Koeman is still expected to be handed funds to bolster his back line.
Garcia still remains Koeman’s top target, with the City youngster down the pecking order at The Etihad.
But if Barca are priced out of a move for the 19-year-old, then a move for Mustafi or Rudiger can materialise.
Arsenal stars told to step up
Rio Ferdinand feels two Arsenal stars need to step up to cover for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of goals this season.
Aubameyang drew a black once again as the Gunners slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves on Sunday. It was their third top-flight game without a victory and third straight Premier League home defeat.
The result left the north Londoners 14th in the table – their worst start to a league campaign since 1981/82. Pressure is mounting on manager Mikel Arteta, with Arsenal closer to the bottom three than the Champions League places.
They have been hamstrung by a lack of goals, with just 10 in the league in as many outings. Aubameyang has been the main source of goals for Arsenal over the past two seasons.
The Gabon hitman bagged 22 in 2018-2019 and matched that number last term. He has just two this campaign and critics have been quick to point the finger at the 31-year-old.
However, Ferdinand does not believe it is all Aubameyang’s fault and wants others to prove their worth. Read more…