Shkodran Mustafi's agent confirms surprise Barcelona transfer talks
Mustafi could be on the brink of a surprise move
For all that has been bad - very, very bad - about Arsenal just lately, very little blame can be attached to Shkodran Mustafi.
The German defender, who at one stage seemed in some way connected to every single goal Arsenal conceded, has found his playing time limited this season, slipping down the pecking order since the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes.
With only a couple of appearances to his name in the league this season, Mustafi now seems set for an exit. No surprises there, perhaps, but the news that Barcelona might be his next port of call might well raise a few eyebrows.
Barca are going through a turbulent spell of their own at the moment. It's not quite reached the point where relegation is seen as a genuine possibility, but the powers that be at the Camp Nou are in a desperate rush to trim the club's outgoings (as the reports claiming they're urgently trying to move Philippe Coutinho on appear to reflect).
Ahead of the presidential elections next month, Barca may look to bring in one or two signings to bolster their ranks, but only on a strict budget. Mustafi, it seems, may fit the bill.
The defender's reputation in Spain is still relatively high amongst those who remember the formidable partnership he struck up with Nicolas Otamendi (make your own jokes) while at Valencia. With his contract due to expire next summer, he could be signed on the cheap by Barca in the January window or, failing that, could arrive on a free at the end of the season.
While reports had suggested a return to Germany was Mustafi's preferred next step, the player's agent has now revealed that Barca appear to be in the driving seat for his signature.
Emre Ozturk, who represents the 28-year-old, was recently pictured at the Camp Nou, indicating on Instagram he was there for a meeting. Some assumed this was connected to another of his clients, Rapid Vienna's Yusuf Demir.
Asked about it, Ozturk told Spox (via The Mirror): "I'm not in Barcelona because of Yusuf Demir, but because of Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal, whom we also represent."