Arsenal are understood to have made contact with the representative of Medhi Benatia regarding a winter move, though the deal appears highly unlikely to happen with Juventus not keen on a mid-season sale.
The Morocco international has endured a tough season with the Bianconeri where he has managed just six starts in the Serie A and Champions League and this has recently spread the speculation that he could pursue a fresh challenge.
However, according to La Gazetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, the centre-back could be forced to stay put in Turin until the summer at the least with the Bianconeri unwilling to listen to advances from both Arsenal and German side Schalke 04.
Here is the Tweet:
L’entourage di Mehdi #Benatia ha ricevuto proposte da #Arsenal e #Schalke nelle ultime settimane: il centrale marocchino era pronto a valutarle, ma per la #Juventus a gennaio è incedibile. In estate invece probabile l’addio #calciomercato
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) January 5, 2019
At the age of 31, Benatia certainly does not have much time left in terms of making his mark and the Moroccan appears set to be frustrated until next summer with the Bianconeri not keen on parting ways with him at the halfway stage of the season.
Still, some positives can be taken from the failed pursuit, given the Gunners’ hierarchy are making the effort to strengthen the heart of the defence which has been severely hampered by injuries during the festive period.
Rob Holding has already been sidelined for the season after a knee operation but his absence has been one of many with Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Nacho Monreal all struggling with fitness concerns.
A couple of the above-mentioned are expected to return for the upcoming league outing at West Ham United but there still remains the need for another solid centre-back in order to curb the tendency to concede which has continued to remain the weak point despite the change in management over the summer.
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