Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is reportedly set to join Arsenal in the summer transfer window, and the Gunners are apparently planning to further strengthen their defence by bringing in another centre-back.
According to the Italian outlet Calciomercato, the north London club wanted to land Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. The 23-year-old joined Juventus in 2012 and spent two years – between 2013 and 2015 on loan at his former club, Empoli.
Rugani has made 25 starts for the Turin club last season, out of which 22 were in the league. Arsenal have been interested in the Italian international for a while with links going back years.
However, Juventus are unwilling to let Rugani leave this summer, as he is still in Massimo Allegri’s plans. The player’s agent, Davide Torchia, has also confirmed the same.
The situation has forced Arsenal to look elsewhere in the market. Calciomercato claims the Premier League club have made a request to Juventus asking if Rugani’s teammate Mehdi Benatia is available. The Gunners have also asked about the defender’s price tag.
Benatia will travel with Morocco to the 2018 World Cup and he is also a transfer target for Marseille. Juventus are hopeful their player can impress in Russia, because if there is competition to secure his signature, then the Old Lady will be in a position demand a higher transfer fee.