Juventus are eyeing a January move for Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports. The Old Lady are sweating on the fitness of Giorgio Chiellini, who reportedly picked up a muscle injury in training.
The veteran defender’s recent injury record does not make for good reading. Chiellini missed a chunk of last season due to a cruciate ligament rupture. Persistent fitness issues and calf problems halted his involvement with the Juventus first team.
This season too, Chiellini has been crippled with muscle problems and has already missed nine games for the Old Lady.
The Italian has only four appearances for Juventus this season, and with games coming thick and fast, his injury will further pile the pressure on Andrea Pirlo.
The Italian tactician might be tempted to hunt for reinforcements in the winter, with the January window less than a month away. And Arsenal’s Greek defender is apparently one of the names on Pirlo's list of targets.
Juventus reportedly have a list of defenders to replace the injured Chiellini
Juventus have prepared a list of potential defenders they want to target in case Chiellini is sidelined for a substantial period of time. Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is the priority target, with the Austrian defender’s current contract set to expire next summer. Alaba is yet to sign an extension, and this makes him an appealing option for Juventus.
The reigning champions are known for snapping up free agents, and getting the Austrian would be a sensational coup. However, securing his signature will not be easy because Alaba still is among the best defenders in the world, and there could be a battle to secure his services in the summer.
That is why Juventus have a few other names on the list, which includes Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, and Arsenal man Sokratis.
The Greek international has not featured for the Gunners this season and is clearly not a part of Mikel Arteta’s plans at the Emirates. Sokratis was not included in the Arsenal squad for both the Premier League as well as the UEFA Champions League, which effectively indicates that his time at Emirates is coming to an end.
The Gunners would be willing to listen to offers in January, and the Serie A side could be interested. He might not be Juventus’ primary target, but because his current deal expires at the end of the season, the Old Lady will have the opportunity to sign him for nothing.