Arsenal find defensive solution as Juventus name price for Italy lynchpin

Jo Harrison

Arsenal are ready to solve their problems in defence by making a move for highly-regarded Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani.

The Gunners have a goal difference of just +4 this season having conceded 36 times in their 28 Premier League matches and sorting out their defensive issues remains a long-standing issue.

They shipped 51 goals in both of the previous two campaigns and their vulnerability at the back has been a big reason why they haven’t  qualified for the Champions League since finishing runners-up to Leicester in the 2015/16 campaign.

Despite trying a range of options, Arsenal have lacked a defensive lynchpin – and that’s where Rugani could come in.

The 25-year-old, who started his career at Empoli, is very much in the mould of classic Italian stoppers, making up for a lack of obvious pace by showing excellent awareness and reading the game well.

Also strong in the air, he offers plenty of the skills Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will be looking for.

Due to strong competition for places at Italy’s top club, report that Rugani is now evaluating his position and Juve may be happy to raise transfer funds by selling him on.

The man capped seven times for Italy has come close to leaving the Turin giants before.


He looked to be on his way last summer – with Arsenal also showing an interest back then – before Juventus skipper Giorgio Chiellini suffered a knee injury while fellow defender Merih Demiral also suffered a setback in January, again blocking Rugani’s departure.

However, this summer could be the time for Arsenal to swoop and Calciomercato claims Juve has stuck a €25million asking price on his head.

And although the fee and the player’s reported salary of around €3.5m a year will put other potential suitors off, it’s thought that the Gunners are prepared to stump up the funds to land their man and give Arteta the defensive solidity that he needs.

They could, however, face rival bids from two other Italian sides, Roma and Napoli, while Russian side Zenit are also thought to be interested.

Rugani tested positive for COVID-19 last month with Italy being one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic but he was diagnosed to be asymptomatic.