Arsenal have reportedly offered £35.5m for Juventus defender Medhi Benatia, but the Italian Serie A giants aren’t interested in selling.
Sky Italia via Calciomercato claim Benatia is the Gunners’ key target in January. They say Arsenal have already submitted their offer, but Juventus’ management have sent it back as they don’t have any plans to sell the 30-year-old.
The Moroccan certainly has a lot of experience at the top level in Europe, having played for AS Roma, Bayern Munich and Juventus in the last four years. However, the timing of the news is a little strange.
Benatia was never a regular at Bayern, so Arsenal could easily have made an offer then. Now, the centre-back is on a run five consecutive league games with Juventus. He scored two goals in those matches as well, so it’s probably not the best time to bid.
However, Arsenal do need reinforcements at the back. Shkodran Mustafi recently returned from an injury, but wasn’t particularly impressive against Liverpool, in my opinion. The German also struggled against Manchester United, even before his injury.
Nacho Monreal picked up a knock in the Liverpool match, so the Gunners can’t rely on him either. Per Mertesacker is retiring at the end of the season, and Wenger doesn’t often trust Calum Chambers and Rob Holding in league games.
Perhaps bidding for Benatia does make some sense. We’ll have to see if Arsenal make any further headway in January.