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Ivan Gazidis plan could hand Arsenal an unexpected £9m windfall to fund Mikel Arteta’s targets

AC Milan are interested in signing Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, according to reports.

According to  TDfichajes, the German international is not a part of Mikel Arteta’s plans for next season which has alerted AC Milan.

The Italian side have set their sights on signing the former Valencia centre-back, who would reportedly have an asking price of around €10 million (£8.92million) – a fee which is thought to be affordable for the Elliott Management group who control the Serie A giants.

A key figure behind any move would be former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who left the Emirates in October 2018 after over 10 years at the club, before taking over a similar role at Milan two months later.

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Gazidis knows Mustafi well, having been at Arsenal when the Gunners signed the defender from Valencia in 2016.

Mustafi has generally struggled for consistency during his time in north London, and was linked with an exit in the January transfer window after a difficult spell under former head coach Unai Emery.

Arteta’s arrival, however, saw the centre-back briefly regain some form with the Gunners remaining unbeaten in the Premier League since the turn of the year.

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But January loan signing Pablo Mari replaced the German in Arsenal’s last two matches before the season was halted due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Mustafi’s long-term future looks uncertain.

Elsewhere, Mustafi this week praised Arteta and claimed the Spaniard has been “incredible” since taking over at the club.

“Each one of us has benefitted from this arrival,” Mustafi said. “He has brought a very clear identity and a very clear idea of how he wants to play football, but at the same time he gives you space to make your own decisions because you are on the pitch and you know exactly what the coach wants from you.

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“I think as well he has been listening into the changing room and listening to the players to find out why things were not working out before. Sometimes we don’t realise how difficult it is to be a coach…