Two unemployed former Arsenal stars battling it out for the same job with club ready to throw career lifeline

EX-ARSENAL star Shkodran Mustafi is set to be thrown a career lifeline by his former club – but an old team-mate is also vying for a contract.

The German international defender, 31, is a free agent after being released by Spaniards Levante this summer.

Sokratis and Shodran Mustafi are battling it out for the same job at SampdoriaGetty

The ex-Gunners duo are both free agents since they were released in the summerGetty

The Gunners paid Valencia £35million for the defender back in 2016 and he went on to play 151 times.

During his five year stay at the Emirates he won the FA Cup twice before leaving for Bundesliga outfit Schalke in 2021.

Mustafi was only back in Germany for six months before heading for a two-year spell with Levante.

However, he was blighted by injuries in Spain and only made 15 appearances for the second-tier club.

Now he looks set to be offered an opportunity to resurrect his career at Sampdoria, whom he played for between 2012 and 2014.

The Italian Serie A club have set their sights on Mustafi after losing a key centre-back for the rest of the season.

Alex Ferrari suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in training at the weekend.

And their boss Andrea Mancini said: “At present we just have three fit central defenders.

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“We haven’t yet made a definite decision, but we probably will have to make one.

“Shkodran Mustafi could be the player we sign. We have three or four names on our list.

“There aren’t many players around who are out of contract.  

“We will try to find out who is in the best shape physically. It isn’t easy.”

Mustafi was a youngster at Everton previously before leaving to join Sampdoria and he played over 50 times for them.

And that was enough to earn him his big switch to Valencia.

However, Sampdoria could turn instead to Mustafi’s fellow ex-Arsenal man Sokratis Papastathopoulos if the German fails to make the cut.

The Greek defender, 35, is also clubless after leaving Olympiacos during the summer.

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