Transfer News: Arsenal join Borussia Dortmund in Medhi Benatia pursuit

Arsenal have reportedly joined the race to sign Juventus defender Medhi Benatia, who is also a summer target for Borussia Dortmund.

According to a report published by The Sun, Arsenal have joined the race to sign Juventus centre-back Medhi Benatia, who has emerged as a transfer target for the new Gunners boss Unai Emery. The Moroccan defender is also the subject of interest from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Medhi Benatia has been a crucial part in Juventus’ historic streak of 7 successive Serie A titles since joining the club in 2010. His performances in the 2017-18 season made him look very solid at the back for the Bianconeri, averaging 2.2 interceptions and 1.4 tackles per game, after making 32 appearances across all competitions last season.

Even though he has a contract running till 2020 with Juventus, his future with the Bianconeri looks very uncertain, as it has been reported that the 31-year-old has fallen out with manager Massimiliano Allegri, with the Italian champions already eyeing up potential replacements.

Arsenal calling? (Photo courtesy - Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Arsenal calling? (Photo courtesy – Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Benatia has now gathered interest from new Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who is looking to fortify his backline this summer. Per Mertesacker called it a day at the end of the 2017-18 season and Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out till December after rupturing his achilles tendon.

Additionally, Rob Holding has struggled to make an impression at the top level while Shkodran Mustafi has been highly inconsistent, effectively forcing Arsenal into the transfer market for a centre-back. But, Arsenal are not alone in pursuit of the 31-year-old, with Borussia Dortmund also weighing up a move for him.

Borussia Dortmund are after Benatia due to the fact that Sokratis Papastathopoulos is nearing a move away from Signal Iduna Park, with Arsenal coincidentally linked with the Greek defender as well. If Sokratis ends his stint with Die Borussen, then they will face a shortage of experienced defenders in their squad, making Benatia a viable target.

Arsenal are also reportedly interested in landing Freiburg star Caglar Soyuncu, with the player keen on the Emirates move as well. It could be the case that Emery is looking to pair both the experienced centre-backs, with Soyuncu will be slowly phased into the first-team setup. Alternatively, if they lose out of one of the defenders, they will still have enough cover for the forthcoming season.

It is likely that any talks will occur after Benatia’s return from Morroco’s campaign at the World Cup, and it remains to be perceived how things develop in the coming days, with the North Africans set to depart from Russia this week.

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