Unai Emery on the brink of unveiling Per Mertesacker’s replacement

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Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia this summer.

New Gunners boss Unai Emery is working with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat to bring in a number of new faces following the club’s sixth-placed finish in the Premier League and subsequent departure of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger.

Defenders are understood to be near the top of their priority list following the retirement of Per Mertesacker and long-term injury suffered by Laurent Koscielny, the latter of whom is expected to be sidelined until December.

French outlet Le10 Sport claims that Mislintat has identified Benatia as a possible target to bolster those defensive options, with Juventus considering selling the 31-year-old Morocco international.

The Italian champions are thought to be eager to bring in younger defenders as long-term replacements for ageing trio Benatia, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, although they would demand in excess of £20m for the centre-back.

Benatia has spent the last two years with Juventus, initially joining on loan before making that deal permanent last summer.


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