As per a report from Italian journalist Nicolo Schira, Juventus have rejected a proposal from Arsenal for defender Medhi Benatia.
Benatia’s Juve career
Benatia, a 31-year-old Moroccan international, has been on Juve’s books since 2016, when he made the move to Turin on an initial loan deal from Bayern Munich.
And the Bianconeri subsequently made the no-nonsense stopper’s move permanent in the summer of 2017.
Benatia went on to play an integral role in the Old Lady’s campaign last time out, stepping into the boots left by Leonardo Bonucci with minimal fuss, eventually racking up 28 appearances between Serie A and the Champions League.
‘Let’s see in January’
However, with Bonucci having secured a shock return to the Allianz Stadium in August, Benatia has since fallen behind the Italian international in the defensive pecking order of Max Allegri’s side once more.
As such, the African’s future in Turin has been called into question of late, with Benatia having done little to play down rumours of a possible January departure from Juve during a recent interview with La Stampa:
‘If [Juventus] need me in the Champions League, I will make myself ready.’
‘But I can hardly play a game every so often. Last year I did well because I had more continuity. Unfortunately, now I do not have it. Part of my job is that I always have to work to make myself ready. But it is not a pleasant situation.’
‘I am available to the team, as long as I stay here, I will give my best. It’s normal that this is not good for me. I’m 31 and I have to try to play as much as possible. Let’s see in January what will happen, how much I have been used, if Juventus need me.’
And, as per the aforementioned report from Nicolo Schira of the Gazzetta Dello Sport, one club eager to take advantage of Benatia’s increasingly-uncertain future in Italy are Premier League giants Arsenal.
The Gunners have actually been linked with a move for Benatia on numerous occasions in the past, but Schira claims that, this time around, a proposal has actually been made.
Bundesliga outfit Schalke, meanwhile, are also said to have submitted an offer for the stopper.
Juventus, however, have firmly knocked back both bids, amid claims that the Bianconeri will not consider parting with Benatia this month:
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