Arsenal close in on swoop for €40m defensive target

Arsenal are looking to sign Juventus defender Daniele Rugani in the summer, according to a report.

The 23-year-old centre-back was the subject of interest from Manchester United and the Gunners in January, although neither made a bid for the centre-back.

Rugani’s agent Davide Torchia claimed Arsenal “expressed a liking” for his client in January and now Transfermarketweb claim the Gunners could be looking at Rugani to replace Shkodran Mustafi at the end of the season.

The Germany international has struggled for form at the Emirates Stadium this term and has recently made several defensive mistakes.

With Per Mertesacker retiring at the end of the season and Calum Chambers and Rob Holding not expected to step into the fold, Arsene Wenger needs to strengthen his defensive options in the summer.

Football Italia claimed in January that a fee in the region of £25million was being mooted for the player who has made 17 starts in Serie A for Juve this season.

He is under contract until 2021, but has found regular game time hard due to the form of Medhi Benatia and Giorgio Chiellini.

In February his agent said: “Rugani is an international player. He could play in any league, so also in the UK.

“He’s young. Elegant in the way of playing. I know that various top European clubs follow him. Some are English.

“Arsenal? In the past, some seasons ago, we spoke with them. At the moment there is no official contact with them.

“He is happy at Juventus. He does not want to leave Turin. And he hopes to play continuously. However, if they were to receive a big offer for him, maybe he could be sold.”