Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho have been named by Estadio Deportivo as potential incomings at Real Betis, as the Spanish side looks to bolster their centre-back options.
Real Betis have made a somewhat concerning start to the 2020/21 campaign. After accumulating nine points from their opening four games, they have since lost six of the next seven fixtures. They currently find themselves in 14th place, just two points above the relegation zone.
What will be even more worrying for manager Manuel Pellegrini is the backline. Los Verdiblancos have conceded 23 goals in La Liga so far – three more than anyone else in the division.
Estadio Deportivo has named both Mustafi and Sakho as possible targets for the La Liga club, both of whom are out of contract in the summer.
German defender Mustafi has fallen out of favour with manager Mikel Arteta, playing just 44 minutes in the Premier League. However, he started in both of Arsenal’s Europa League victories over Molde in November.
Despite seemingly not fancying him, Arteta may be hesitant to let the 28-year-old leave, given that his options at centre-back are somewhat limited. Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz, and Rob Holding are the Gunners’ only other recognised central defenders, although Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney have both filled in there at times.
If Real Betis were to make a move for the German, they may face competition from Catalan giants Barcelona. Mustafi was named as a shock target for Ronald Koeman’s side by Mundo Deportivo.
Meanwhile, Mamadou Sakho has fallen down the pecking order at Crystal Palace, not featuring since his five-minute cameo at Craven Cottage in October.
The former Liverpool man has been an unused substitute in each of the Eagles’ last four outings, with Roy Hodgson opting for Scott Dann and Cheikhou Kouyate as his main centre-back pairing.
Napoli’s Nikola Maksimovic has also been linked to Real Betis by Estadio Deportivo.