Arsenal have made first contact with Juventus over the transfer of Medhi Benatia, according to various reports in Italy.
TMW report that Benatia is ‘not happy’ with his current situation at Juventus. The centre-back hasn’t appeared in consecutive matches at all this season, making five starts in the Italian champions’ 14 games so far. As a result, Arsenal are trying to take advantage by making a move for the defender.
The Gunners have reportedly made contact over the transfer, a claim supported by fellow Italian outlet Calciomercato News. Juventus would only request around €15m (£13m) for the player.
Benatia is clearly out of favour and getting closer to the end of his contract, which expires in 2020, so it’s no surprise they’ll happily settle for a lower offer. He’s also 31 years old, 32 before the end of the season.
However, Arsenal haven’t shown as much reluctance as in previous years to sign older players who can help the squad immediately.
In other news, this week Benatia returned to the Morocco squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon. He missed the last three qualifiers after deciding to focus on his club commitments, but with Juventus only playing him sparingly he’s clearly realised this was a mistake.