Arsenal to sign Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia

Arsenal are planning a move for Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia this summer.

New Arsenal boss Unai Emery is working with the head of recruitment Sven Mislintat to bring in a number of new faces following the club's sixth-place finish in the Premier League and consequent departure of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger.

Defenders are understood to be near the top of the Gunners priority list following the retirement of Per Mertesacker and long-term injury suffered by Laurent Koscielny, the latter of whom is expected to be sidelined until December.

Le10 Sport claims that Mislintat has identified Benatia as a likely target to strengthen those defensive options, with Juventus considering selling the 31-year-old Morocco international.

Juventus are thought to be keen on bringing in younger defenders as long-term replacements for aging trio Benatia, Giorgio Chiellini, and Andrea Barzagli, though they would demand in excess of £20m for the centre-back.

Benatia has spent the last two years with the Italian champions, initially joining on loan before making that deal permanent last summer.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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