After the long-term injury to Rob Holding, as well as recent extended absences for Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos, Arsenal have to be thinking about investing in January.
As it stands, Arsenal have five senior centre-backs: Laurent Koscielny (slowly returning), Shkodran Mustafi (injured and suspended), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (suspended), Konstantinos Mavropanos (injured) and Rob Holding (injured). Even Julio Pleguezuelo seemingly got too close to the first-team and picked up a knock.
There are players who can fill in, like Nacho Monreal, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mohamed Elneny and so on. Nonetheless, Arsenal really don’t have defenders they can rely on to play matches consistently, and they may need to dip into the transfer market to find one.
Let’s look at who the club have been linked with in recent weeks:
- Age: 24
- Position: Centre-Back
- Contract until: 2021
- Club: Juventus
- Estimated transfer value: £19.8m
Arsenal are ‘seriously monitoring’ the availability of Juventus’ Daniele Rugani, according to reports in the English media.
Express Sport write that Arsenal are following the centre-back closely, though Chelsea are also favourites to move for the 24-year-old. Various reports suggest Rugani would cost between €35m (£31m) and €50m (£44m).
Rugani has a contract with Juventus until 2021, and in the past, he’s chosen to commit his future to the club rather than pushing for a move. His agent admitted over the summer that he’d previously held talks with Arsenal over a transfer, but at the time he insisted the defender was happy with Juventus.
However, the signs suggest that’s starting to change. Rugani has really struggled to get into the Juventus team this season, only making four appearances in all competitions (three starts). He was also recently tagged in an Instagram post by girlfriend Michela Persico with the two of them learning English.
With a couple of years left on his contract and seemingly no place in Juventus’ first choice team, January could be the perfect time for Rugani to move on. Whether that’s to Arsenal, we’ll have to wait and see.
Click ‘Next’ for more centre-backs linked with a January move to Arsenal