​Arsenal are reportedly prepared to put forward a bid of £19.5m for Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi but are delaying the bid to allow the La Liga outfit to find a replacement, according to Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Emanuele Giulianelli.

The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in recent weeks in light of the recent injury crisis that has taken a hold of Arsene Wenger's defensive options.

Arsenal v CD Guadalajara

Former Germany international Per Mertesacker's serious injury, which ruled him out for up to five months, meant further cover was urgently required to what was an already depleted backline with just one week to go until the Premier League begins.

Wenger had recently admitted he was in the market for a centre-back but refused to be drawn on Mustafi specifically when quizzed on the future of the Germany international. But according to Giulianelli, the Gunners will submit a £19.5m bid to Valencia in the near future.

And although they are reportedly prepared to delay the bid until Valencia find a replacement, Giulianelli claims Arsenal will look at other potential targets should the opportunity present itself.

The former Everton defender has reportedly has a release clause of £42m but Arsenal are not prepared to offer more than £20m. Reports last week suggested Valencia would not accept an offer below his release clause but the Spanish club are known to be in financial trouble.

Their Sporting Director, Jesus Garcia Pitarch, admitted last week that the club was actively looking to offload "two or three" more players after letting the likes of Andre Gomes and Sofiane Feghouli leave to fall in line of Financial Fair Play regulations.