Arsenal have confirmed that Shkodran Mustafi has joined Schalke on a permanent transfer.
It is understood that the German has come to a mutual agreement with the Gunners to terminate his contract and he has proceeded to sign a six-month deal with Schalke. The German club will have to pay the North London side a small compensation fee.
Mustafi has been a peripheral member of the Arsenal first team this season which has seen him make just nine appearances in all competitions of which three have been in the Premier League. He became keen on returning to Germany after finding himself on the fringes of the senior squad at the Emirates. He had six months remaining on his contract.
Schalke were in need of a central defender after Ozan Kabak joined Liverpool on loan for the rest of the season. Mustafi was their priority and they have managed to get this deal over the line. Mustafi will be reunited with his former Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac who joined the German side on loan earlier this month.
The World Cup winner joined Arsenal from Valencia in 2016 for £35 million. During his time at the Emirates, he scored nine goals and provided five assists in 151 appearances across all competitions. He won two FA Cups with the Gunners and was a part of the squad that reached the Europa League final in the 2018/19 season.
On Mustafi, manager 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.”
Technical director Edu Gaspar said:
“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.”