In Brief

Arsenal’s defensive hit-list: Gunners could make new move for Juve’s Daniele Rugani

Dayot Upamecano is Arsenal’s plan B if they fail to land Rugani in January

Back for Rugani

It hasn’t taken Unai Emery long to realise that Arsenal’s defensive frailties are as grave now as they were last season despite the acquisition of David Luiz and the jettisoning of several gaffe-prone Gunners. 

That’s why, the Daily Star claims, the Arsenal head coach is poised to open his cheque book once more in the January transfer window. 

The paper says that the Spaniard will make another attempt to lure Daniele Rugani from Juventus. Apparently the Gunners made enquiries as to the availability of the 25-year centre-back last month, but baulked at Juve’s £27m asking price as they wanted to take him on loan. 

But the Star believes that Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is desperate to offload Rugani to lighten his wage bill and that proves “a New Year deal is there for the taking”.

Deal for Dayot?

The Star also says that the Gunners are “eyeing” RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and he is plan B if they fail to land Rugani. 

The 20-year-old has impressed for the German outfit and he’s a team-mate of new Arsenal signing William Saliba in the France national team youth ranks. Emery is said to be a fan and could be prepared to “splash the cash again in January”.

Meunier: it’s complicated

Another defender being linked to the Emirates is Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Meunier with the Daily Mail reporting that the 27-year-old has “refused to rule out” a January transfer amid ongoing interest from the Gunners and Manchester United. 

The Belgian’s contract expires next summer and it’s expected he will leave PSG with “talks gathering pace on a cut-price January departure”. 

Asked about his future by broadcaster RTBF, Meunier replied: “The situation is a little more complicated because I am no longer the preferred choice in my position, but I remain professional… and we will see what happens during the season.”

Vinicius interests Arsenal

Arsenal sounded out Real Madrid in the summer about the possibility of signing frontman Vinicius Jr, reports the Daily Express

Although the La Liga giants informed Arsenal that the Brazilian isn’t for sale, reports from Spain suggest that the situation could change between now and January. 

Much will depend on how the 19-year-old - who arrived at the Bernabeu in 2018 in a £38.7m move from Flamengo - performs in the first half of the season. 

Injury and loss of form has hampered his progress at Real and coach Zinedine Zidane has already dropped him to the bench a month into the new season.

Mkhitaryan back for more?

Metro claims that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has “opened the door” to a return to the Emirates next season once he’s done with his loan stint at AS Roma. 

In an interview with VBET News the midfielder was asked if his Arsenal career was over for good. “Well, let’s first see about what I can do in Roma,” Mkhitaryan replied. “Then at the end of the season I think we can talk if I will have the possibility to stay or to go or to do something else, I don’t know.”

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