Arsenal inform Euro giants they will meet £17m release clause to sign 6ft 2in star

By on June 22, 2018

According to reports in Italy via the Metro, Arsenal have informed Juventus they are ready to meet Medhi Benatia’s £17m release clause as Unai Emery looks to further strengthen his defence this summer.

Our new head coach has wasted no time overhauling the squad he inherited from Arsene Wenger with goalkeeper Bernd Leno arriving from Bayer Leverkusen while right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has also been snapped-up from Juventus.

A deal to sign Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos has also reportedly been agreed as Emery looks to tighten-up a defensive unit that shipped 51 Premier League goals last season.

However, we’re expected to sign another central defender this summer as Per Mertesacker has retired, Laurent Koscielny is out for six months injured, Shkodran Mustafi has been a woeful signing and Calum Chambers is being linked with a move away.

We’ve been strongly linked with a number of players in recent weeks but Benatia has emerged as a possible target with the Mirror reporting that Arsenal chiefs have been eyeing a swoop for the Juventus defender.

It seems a deal could be on the cards as the Metro are citing a report from Tuttosport that claims Arsenal have now informed Juve that we’re ready to trigger the 31-year-old’s £17m release clause.

However, we aren’t the only team in the running as the Italian outlet says Marseille are also showing a keen interest so Benatia will have a straight choice between moving to England or France this summer.

Benatia is currently in Russia representing Morocco at the World Cup but they are coming home early after failing to get out of the group stages so the centre-back will no doubt make a decision over his future soon.

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Personally, I don’t understand why Arsenal would want to sign both Benatia and Sokratis as they are both 30+ and coming towards the end of the careers. It makes sense to buy one experienced central defender but not two.

So if we are in for Benatia, either there has been a late hitch in the Sokratis deal or Emery is looking to rebuild our back four with old pro’s who’ll have no resell value or longevity.