Schalke have confirmed the signing of defender Shkodran Mustafi on a free transfer, with Arsenal agreeing to rip up what was left of his contract.
Mustafi follows fellow Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac to the German side who are languishing at the bottom of the Bundesliga as a result of ongoing financial difficulties.
The move follows Liverpool completing a deal for Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, who has undergone a medical in Germany ahead of a late move to the Reds before the transfer window shuts.
In a statement, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “Musti has been a key player for us for a long period of time. He played a very important part in my first season as manager and I’d like to thank him for his professionalism and for always being ready when called upon. Everybody at Arsenal wishes Musti well at Schalke.”
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Technical director Edu added: “We thank Musti for his contribution at Arsenal which has spanned four-and-a-half years, more than 150 appearances and a prominent role in two FA Cup wins. Everyone associated with the club wishes Musti and his family the very best wishes for the next chapter in his career.”
Sky Germany reporter Max Bielefeld confirmed earlier on Monday that Mustafi had agreed personal terms to a six-month contract with Schalke, paving the way for Kabak to depart for Liverpool.
28-year-old Mustafi signed for Arsenal for £35m from Valencia in 2015, having won the World Cup with Germany a year earlier, but ultimately never managed to convince fans he was good enough for the Gunners.
Upon Mikel Arteta's arrival, Mustafi had seen his role reduced to a point where he had failed to make a single Premier League appearance for Arsenal this season. Arsenal were keen on recouping a fee for Mustafi having already let go of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis on free transfers this month, but agreed to terminate his contract with is set to expire in summer.
Mustafi heading to Schalke allowed the Royal Blues to sell Kabak to Liverpool. 90min reported on Monday that negotiations over a move had begun for the 20-year-old, whom they have held interest in since last summer.