Arsenal are ‘ready to dive in’ on a deal for Mehdi Benatia, according to reports in France.

Le10Sport write that Arsenal are monitoring Benatia’s situation with current club Juventus. If the Italian champions decide to sell the player, Unai Emery’s transfer team are reportedly ready to make a move. The Serie A side would want around €30m (£26.3m) for the centre-back.

It would certainly be a surprising transfer, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Benatia just turned 31, so you wouldn’t expect Arsenal to make a major investment in the player. Also, he only joined Juventus a year ago, so he hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impression just yet.

On the other hand, the defender spent a lot of time on the sidelines this season, only starting half of Juventus’ league games. He was fit and ready to play at the end of the season, but sat on the bench for the entire 90 minutes for five of the last eight matches. That’s despite popping up with two goals in the Coppa Italia final.

When you look at it that way, the fact he’s 31 years old might actually make him more likely to push for a move. He can’t afford to waste the next couple of years on the bench.

Arsenal need an experienced defender to immediately slot into the team, so you never know.

Arsenal may need to buy more than 1 defender this summer, so click ‘Next’ to see the 7 other centre-backs the media are linking them to.

1Caglar Soyuncu

Freiburg’s Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu (L) and Dortmund’s Ukrainian forward Andrey Yarmolenko vie for the ball during German first division Bundesliga football match between SC Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund on September 9, 2017 in Freiburg, southwestern Germany. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE
  • Age: 22
  • Current club: SC Freiburg
  • Contract until: 2021
  • Market value: £10.8m

In a recent interview, Caglar Soyuncu hinted that he’ll probably be on the move soon, insisting that things will be clear within a fortnight.

Speaking to beIN SPORTS, Soyuncu explained that he’s already talked to current club Freiburg about his transfer options.

“I am very thankful now that I have had a good season,” he said. “I have spoken with the club about the offers.

“It is still early but things will be clear in one or two weeks.”

The Telegraph previously wrote that Arsenal were pushing for a deal even though they hadn’t announced their new manager. They said the Gunners were ready to agree a deal worth up to £35m for the 21-year-old.

Now Unai Emery is officially in charge, we could see some movement pretty quickly.

I wouldn’t expect a potential deal to take too much longer. The World Cup is coming up on June 14th, and most reports suggest Arsenal aim to get a lot of their transfer business done before then.

We’ll see if Soyuncu’s destination ends up being in North London.

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