Shkodran Mustafi

Late rush for stars

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LONDON — The summer transfer window closes tomorrow. This means English Premier League clubs, as usual, will be doing plenty of “last minute” shopping in bid to strengthen their respective squad.

Arsenal, for instance, are set to announce today the signings of Germany international and Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi and Deportivo La Coruna striker, Spaniard Lucas Perez. The pair cost the Gunners around £52 million (RM275 million).

Meanwhile, West Ham have already signed Italy striker Simone Zaza on loan from Juventus for a fee of €5 million (RM23 million) on Sunday.

The Hammers said a permanent fee of €20 million RM91 million) will be triggered automatically after a certain number of Premier League appearances this season.

Zaza played for Italy at Euro 2016 in France, missing a penalty after a stuttering run-up in the penalty shootout defeat to Germany in the quarterfinals.

Mustafi says Mesut Ozul has helped convince him to join Arsenal.

The 24-year-old would join compatriots Per Mertesacker and Ozil at the Emirates, and said Arsenal’s attractive style of play is another factor contributing to his decision.

“I have always loved Arsenal, I like how they play here, it is not typical English,” he said.

He has been capped 12 times by Germany and scored against Ukraine at Euro 2016.

Arsenal’s bitter north London rivals Tottenham are lining up a sensational swoop for Real Madrid star attacker Isco.

Real are under pressure to reduce the size of their squad and it has become a straight choice between Isco — a £25 million (RM133 million) signing from Malaga three years ago — and Colombian ace James Rodriguez.

Club president Florentino Perez has made it known to manager Zinedine Zidane he wants James to stay, and has blocked a proposed move to Chelsea.

So Isco, a Spain international, is the one to leave, with White Hart Lane his likely destination.

Champions Leicester are trying to sign Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani but will not be held to ransom by the Portuguese club.

It is understood the 28-year-old is keen on a switch to the Premier League and to join up with his international teammate Riyad Mahrez at King Power Stadium.

However, Sporting have quoted the Foxes a figure in the region of €40 million (RM181 million) but Leicester are not prepared to pay that figure.

Chelsea are closing in on Fiorentina defender Marcos Alonso, according to a Marca report.

The former Sunderland loanee is a target for manager Antonio Conte, who is determined to bolster his defensive options before the transfer window shuts and is willing to stump up £25 million (RM132 million) to complete a deal.

Signing leftback Alonso, formerly of Real and Bolton, would allow Conte to move Cesar Azpilicueta into a central role having seemingly missed out on top targets Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli.

Don’t be surprised, however, at other clubs making 11th hour deals tomorrow as well. — Agencies