Arsenal Interested in Medhi Benatia
The 31-year-old defender has fallen out of favour with Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus. Recently, while uploading a story on his Instagram account in a restaurant, he was asked whether he would dedicate his next goal to his waiter.
Benatia’s reply was, “I have to play in order to score.”
Benatia’s comments suggest the player’s dissatisfaction with his limited role under the Italian boss. The Moroccan currently serves as backup with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini the preferred centre-back pairing in Turin.
The lack of playing time at Juventus would have clearly frustrated the Moroccan International who has only featured in five Serie A games this season.
Essential at Islington?
The uncertainty surrounding the defender’s future in Turin has compounded Arsenal’s interest in the player. Injuries to the likes of Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have also left a huge void in Arsenal’s defence which has been shaky at best this season.
Emery could solve this problem by going for Medhi Benatia in the January window. However, Arsenal might face competition from Bundesliga club Schalke according to transfer insider Nicholas Schira.
Ramsey Role to be Crucial?
The Mirror reports that Juventus could use Benatia as a makeweight in order to sign Aaron Ramsey in January. Ramsey, now in the final six months of his Arsenal contract, is free to speak with European clubs about a summer move.
The rumour mill has suggested that the Arsenal midfielder has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Juventus, although this has not been officially confirmed by either Arsenal or the Italian giants.
If Juventus want to keep hold of Benatia, who was widely considered one of Europe’s best defenders a few years back, they will most likely have to wait until the summer to get Ramsey.
Will Juventus Allow Him to Leave?
The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Arsenal are more interested in the quick fix rather than waiting for the summer. Therefore, they may be open to allowing Ramsey to leave this window should Benatia come the other way.
However, it seems unlikely that Juventus would allow such a quality defender to leave in the middle of the season. In all likelihood, they will have Ramsey either way in the summer and at no cost.
Arsenal need a defender now rather than in the summer to keep their season from spiralling out of control; it nearly has already due to the mounting list of injuries. If Benatia is not their man than they need to look elsewhere and fast.
Moreover, Juventus are willing to sign Aaron Ramsey to a large contract. They are set to make him their third-highest earning star behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. All the more sense for Ramsey to wait until the summer and hold the upper edge in negotiations rather than let Arsenal dictate his next club.
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