Liverpool turn centre-back transfer search to Juventus defender Arsenal ‘love’
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Liverpool have reportedly shown an interest in Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral. The Turkish international has attracted plenty of interest from Premier League clubs in recent years but the Italian giants are unlikely to agree to a sale.
Demiral needed just six months in Italy with Sassuolo to make a big impression on Juventus.
He arrived in Serie A in January 2019 on loan from Alanyaspor before Juventus decided to snap him up on a permanent deal that summer.
The 22-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury though last season and was set to miss the European Championships before the tournament was postponed.
Demiral forced his way back into the starting XI under Andrea Pirlo before a muscle injury ruled him out for the past two months.
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Turkish outlet Fanatik claim that Liverpool have been alerted to reports the defender has been told he can leave Juventus.
A price-tag of around £40million is said to have been placed on Demiral’s head, making him an attractive option to any clubs looking to buy this month.
Tottenham and Leicester are also said to be in the fray but Demiral is a player Arsenal have been tracking since the days of Unai Emery.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims Arsenal held talks with Juventus about Demiral last year but were priced out of a deal.
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“The real centre-back that Arsenal loves here in Italy is the other Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral, if I had €50million I would definitely go to buy him,” Romano told YouTuber Lee Gunner in September.
“I am convinced he will become one of the best centre-backs in the world.
“I know Arsenal have also contacted Juventus in April or May to understand the situation and make a bid for Demiral but at the moment Juventus say he is non-transferable and he will stay for sure. It will be impossible to sign him.”
Liverpool played with midfield duo Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at centre-back last night in the 1-0 defeat at Southampton.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are unlikely to play again this year and Joel Matip is currently sidelined with a groin injury.
It means youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are the club’s only recognised centre-backs.
Despite their lack of depth at the heart of defence, Jurgen Klopp is unsure whether the Reds will sign a centre-back this month.
“I can’t really say anything about that, but you can imagine, six months ago we talked about how much all football clubs struggle and thank God we could keep going, and it helped all the clubs as well,” he said after the defeat at St Mary’s.
“But it’s still not the time where you really just… [throws money].
“At least not for us. I don’t know exactly how it is at other clubs, but we have to be really cautious and very serious, and so I don’t know what we can and what we can’t do.”
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