According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Juventus are determined to keep hold of defender Merih Demiral and have big plans for his future, amid interest from clubs around Europe with Arsenal leading the chase.
The Gunners secured the services of Pablo Mari for the rest of the season, and should the Spaniard pass his half-season audition, he should remain at the Emirates permanently when the loan expires. Nonetheless, it seems the club are looking to further boost Mikel Arteta’s options at the back by signing young quality players, players who would be able to stick around for a very long time.
Arsenal looked thoroughly at Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig, but it seems they’ve decided to try for a more cost-effective solution in Demiral, despite the Turk being out for the season with a knee injury.
However, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to go very smoothly. Juventus are extremely reluctant to part ways with the player who turns 22 tomorrow (Thursday). They’ve already rejected the advances of AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Leicester City, even though Demiral hasn’t played much this season.
But with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini both in late stages of their respectively brilliant careers, Demiral could form a strong centre-back partnership for many years to come alongside another player that Arsenal once reportedly considered – Matthijs de Ligt.
It seems Demiral has received direct assurances from Juventus that he is an important part of their plans for the future and that they eagerly await his return. Further more, his contract doesn’t expire for four more years, which means that, despite the serious injury he’s currently recovering from, he wouldn’t come cheap even if he does ask to leave.
The Gunners will certainly have to play a smart game with the Serie A champions if they hope to lure Demiral to North London.