Shkodran Mustafi set to leave Arsenal for Schalke

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi is closing in on a move to Schalke which would likely see Ozan Kabak depart to join Liverpool.

Mustafi has struggled for game time this season, dropping down the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta, and has been given the perfect pathway to leave the Emirates thanks to Liverpool's interest in 20-year-old Kabak.

The Germany international, who hasn't played for Arsenal since Boxing Day, is expected to make the move to the Bundesliga, ending a four and a half year stay in north London, though sources vary on any potential fee. Football London say his contract will be terminated before the move is sealed, while ESPN's James Olley claims Arsenal want a sum this window.

Mustafi leaving would mark another exit this month for Arsenal. Former outcasts Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have left permanently in recent weeks, while Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba were sent out on loan. Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson are among the youngsters who could still leave on loan before the deadline.

Mustafi joined Arsenal in 2016 for a fee around the £35m mark but never convinced the club's fanbase that he was a long term solution to their issues in central defence, mainly due to his penchant for making disastrous mistakes.

Mustafi facing Crystal Palace in 2019 | Warren Little/Getty Images

He made 31 league appearances in 2018/19 but his numbers have dwindled in the following two campaigns.

Regarding Liverpool, 90min reported on Monday that the club had started negotiations over a loan deal for Turkish defender Kabak.

Negotiations are now in a more advanced stage, as per the Athletic. Reporting differs on whether it will have an obligatory or optional buy clause, with the Athletic going for the former and the Times' Paul Joyce citing the latter. The loan fee would be around the £2m.

Liverpool's negotiations with Schalke over Kabak are gaining pace | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Liverpool have had Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip struck down by injury this season, leaving Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to fill in at the back.

A deal for Preston centre back Ben Davies is also expected to be announced on deadline day after the Anfield club agreed a deal worth in the region of £2m for the 25-year-old.

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Source : 90min