Arsenal prepare for defensive overhaul as Mehdi Benatia becomes the latest defender to be linked with the club.
Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia. The defender becomes the latest addition to Arsenal’s defensive targets, after Sokratis Papasthatopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
French outlet Le10 has reported that Unai Emery has identified Benatia as a potential target which can bolster Arsenal’s defence for the next season. Arsenal have had issues with their defence in the Premier League this season. The Gunners conceded 51 goals in the season, as the club finished a disappointing 6th in the league.
Per Mertesacker has retired and Laurent Koscielny is suffering from Achilles injury, and is sidelined at least until December. The other defenders, Shkodran Mustafi and Konstantinos Mavropanos didn’t get much game time and lack match consistency.
According to BBC, Arsenal are also working on a deal with Juventus’ Stephan Lichsteiner. The 34-year old defender can move to Arsenal on a free transfer this summer.
Juventus are also targeting defenders to potentially replace Lichtsteiner and Benatia, should they leave the club. According to the report, Juventus have demanded in excess of £20m for the centre-back.
Mehdi Benatia joined Juventus last season, and has been with the club since two years, having spent the first on loan from Bayern Munich. Juventus exercised the option of extending the defender’s contract until 2020 last year.
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The Gunners are also monitoring Freiburg’s Caglar Soyuncu. The Turkish defender recently confirmed Arsenal’s interest, saying that he has received communication from the North London club.
The centre-back is currently on international duty with Turkey. In a media interaction, he informed that he will take a decision on his future after the friendly against Germany on June 5. He is in the Turkey’s squad for World Cup in Russia.