Arsenal ‘Bid’ Rejected Claim Reports
Arsenal have seen a bid of over £35million rejected for Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia according to reports from Italy.
Sky Italia, as reported by Calciomercato, claims the Gunners have lodged a bid of €40million (£35.5million) for the centre back. However, Juventus aren’t interested in selling Benatia who has appeared in just eight of Juve’s 18 Serie A games so far this season.
Arsenal’s interest – if it turns out to be true – is all the more surprising because of Benatia’s age. He turned 30 earlier this year and that’s the age where Arsene Wenger tends to discard his interest.
The Gunners’ defence has been the cause of some concern this season with 23 goals conceded in their opening 19 games. Along with Liverpool that’s the most of any club in the top seven of the Premier League.
The Merseyside club have taken steps to shore up their leaky back four with the £75million signing of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton on Wednesday. Arsenal aren’t expected to match the Reds’ in what was a world-record fee for a defender. However, they aren’t about to pay £35million for a 30-year-old.
Wilshere Expected To Take Pay Cut?
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger believes Jack Wilshere will sign a new contract with Arsenal. However, financial terms will dictate whether the deal goes ahead.
Wilshere is out of contract at the end of the season and has indicated that he is willing to sign a new deal.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of this evening’s clash with Crystal Palace, Wenger said that the club will sit down with Wilshere. But he added.
“I believe if he can meet a point of agreement financially, he will want to stay.”
That could be taken as Wilshere taking a drop in wages. He currently earns £90,000 a week and any new deal could be for a much lower basic amount that would be topped up with a higher payment for each appearance.