New target in frame as Arsenal step up centre-back search

Date published: Tuesday 23rd July 2019 4:24

Daniele Rugani TEAMtalk

Arsenal have added Juventus defender Daniele Rugani to their target list, according to a report in Italy.

The Gunners are hoping to wrap up a deal for Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba this week, but the 18-year-old centre-back will be loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit despite the £27million price tag.

And now according to TuttoMercatoWeb, Arsenal could move for Rugani, who Juve are apparently willing to let go.

Juve confirmed the £67.5million signing of Matthijs De Ligt from Ajax earlier this month with the centre-back signing a five-year deal with the Italian champions and his arrival means the 24-year-old Italian will be shunted down the pecking order.

With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci already ahead of him, De Ligt is expected to displace one of those two, leaving Rugani, who is also interesting Roma, with little hope of improving on his 15 Serie A starts last season.

The Italian defender was outlined as a primary target by former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri upon his arrival in the Stamford Bridge last summer with the pair having worked together at Empoli, but the Blues failed to get a deal over the line.

Rugani’s agent Davide Torchia later revealed just how close the London outfit were to signing Rugani, while dealing a blow to any future attempts to sign the player.

Now though Unai Emery is understood to be looking at the player, who has seven Azzurri caps, having only managed to add Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli to his squad so far this summer.

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