Date published: Friday 28th August 2020 3:18
Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has identified Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin as his top target for a new recruit at right-back, according to a report.
Bellerin, 25, is already a stalwart of the current Gunners squad having progressed through the youth ranks.
However, previous reports claim he is facing an uncertain future, with Arsenal ready to listen to offers for him. Indeed, injuries set him back last season and he only managed 15 Premier League outings.
What’s more, the Spaniard is reportedly keen to seek a new challenge, with Bayern Munich previously linked with a move.
According to Corrierre dello Sport, though, Juventus have emerged as candidates with a strong interest. The Serie A giants held no such interest under previous boss Maurizio Sarri, but their stance has changed with Pirlo at the helm.
The Italian has reportedly requested Juve to sign Bellerin, who is his first choice at right-back. Indeed, Pirlo feels determined to clinch a deal despite several potential hurdles.
While both clubs have made initial contact, Arsenal’s €30million (£27million) asking price could end Juve’s interest.
The Serie A side’s priority is to “sell, sell, sell”, the report claims, amid the financial impacts of the pandemic.
And despite Pirlo knowing the club still have funds to spare, £27million is likely to be out of their reach.
Indeed, Juve are close to signing midfielder Weston McKennie from Schalke, which will set them back.
As for other, more affordable right-back targets, the Turin side have Ajax’s Sergino Dest on their radar.
ARTETA READY TO GIVE ARSENAL STARS A FRESH START
Speaking in his latest press conference on Thursday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta offered a fresh slate to his exit-linked players.
He told reporters: “Everybody starts from zero in football. What you did two weeks ago doesn’t matter. Everyone will have the same opportunities.”
Arteta made the comments when asked about speculation over Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ future. The midfielder was the subject of a recently-rejected bid from Wolves.