Devastating loss for Manchester United as defender nears £35.4m move to Arsenal


Jose Mourinho’s loss is Arsenal’s gain, with reports the Gunners have found a £35.4m solution to their defender woes, snatching him away from the clutches of Manchester United.

Juventus and Italy centre-back Daniele Rugani, who joined the Italian Serie A outfit from Empoli in 2015, has been short of playing time this season – being an unused substitute on seven occasions in the league. And his desperation for more playing time could lead the Old Lady to sell him in January.

Arsenal and Manchester United are the two Premier League clubs battling it out for the 23-year-old’s signature, but the report claims the Gunners are leading the chase.

It’s devastating news for Mourinho, as his side have been suffering from injury problems to their defence, with Phil Jones and Eric Bailly both sidelined for United. Arsenal may have a greater need for a defender though.

With Laurent Koscielny suffering injury problems and inconsistent form, Per Mertesacker retiring next summer, coupled with Shkodran Mustafi no long commanding a starting place, Arsene Wenger’s in need of another defender.

Rugani could cost Arsenal £35.4m, a price they might be hesitant to pay without offloading one or two players first given their sell-to-buy policy. Manchester United have lucrative finances, but the report suggests they’re behind in negotiations for the defender.

Despite his young age, the Italian international is highly experienced, boasting 81 appearances for Empoli and 54 for Juve. He’s contracted with the perennial Serie A champions until 2021, but a move could be sanctioned for the right price, with Medhi Benatia, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli commanding a starting place ahead of Rugani.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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