Juventus are ready to enter the race for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen and believe that they have the pulling power to put a £10m deal together ahead of Manchester United, according to Corriere dello Sport.
Vermaelen has a big decision to make over his future this summer after falling firmly behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the Arsenal pecking order, off the back of a frustrating 18-month spell on the periphery beset by consistent injury problems.
The 28-year-old has less than a year left on his current Arsenal contract and as a result Premier League rivals United have held talks over a summer switch, but Juve could represent a more agreeable alternative exit route for both parties.
Juve are actively searching for top recruits in every position in their effort to become a genuine contender in the Champions League next season, a competition Vermaelen has plenty of experience in.
Binaconeri boss Antonio Conte favours a 3-5-2 system and so needs quality options in central defence more than most, which means he wants Vermaelen to join Patrice Evra in providing genuine competition for places next season.
United still in pole position
United boss Louis van Gaal sees Vermaelen as being able to add the very same at Old Trafford, but Arsenal are desperate to stop another star player joining a direct rival and would surely be seriously tempted by any formal offer from Juventus.
Van Gaal is still very confident of securing a deal for Vermaelen this summer, but is probably fed up of hearing Juve's name as talks continue over both Evra and Arturo Vidal's futures.
Vermaelen has held talks over his future and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hasn't given up hope of persuading the stopper to stay put, although Juve's new interest adds another dimension to a summer transfer saga that continues to rumble on.