Arsenal have been in direct contact with Stephan Lichtsteiner's representatives to try and persuade the Swiss international to snub contract talks with Juventus and make a January move to the Premier League.
That is according to Sky Italia journalist Gianluca di Marzio, who reports that the Gunners have beaten Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain to make their interest in the attacking full-back concrete well before the transfer window opens.
Lichtsteiner is one of Europe's most sought-after defenders at this present moment because of a frustrating impasse in talks over an extension to his current deal with Juve, which expires at the end of this season.
Gunners clearly keen on cut-price January deal
The 30-year-old is struggling to convince Juve that he deserves improved terms despite performing consistently in Serie A over the last two seasons or so, perhaps because former Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte left in the summer.
Inter Milan would like to persuade Lichtsteiner to stay in Northern Italy and make a Bosman move to the San Siro at the end of the current campaign, but if he's to leave Juve then he reportedly wants the chance to prove his worth in the Premier League.
- Arsene Wenger desperate to complete important January deal
- Chelsea have long courted £6.5m Lichtsteiner deal
- Stephan Lichtsteiner rejects Juventus contract offer
Juve playing a dangerous game
Despite Lichtsteiner's advancing years it remains something of a surprise that Juve have not struck an agreement with an important figure in their recent domination of Italian football, a rampaging wing-back that's allowed Juve to use a 3-5-2 so effectively in recent years.
Arsenal look short in defence to say the least and Lichtsteiner would offer instant relief on the right-hand side if snapped up in January, with the Gunners willing to shell out rather than wait for a free transfer to materialise.
Will Old Lady risk losing him for free next summer?
Chelsea, Madrid and PSG are all monitoring ongoing talks between Juve and the committed full-back's representatives with a view to reaching a pre-contract agreement in January, but aren't desperate to force through a move as a matter of urgency.
If Juve are desperate not to lose Lichtsteiner for nothing next summer then Arsenal definitely have the upper hand in this transfer tussle, with Wenger expected to be active in his search for experienced defenders in January as the Gunners bid to keep their fledging title challenge alive against the odds.
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