Arsenal face Italian fight over Venezuelan defender

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Arsenal face a transfer battle with clubs from Italy in the race to sign Venezuelan defender Fernando Amorebieta.

Sky Sports understands Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan are all interested in bringing the eight-cap international to Serie 'A' at the end of the season.

The website reports that Arsenal have also shown an interest in the player, along with mega-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

Amorebieta's contract with Athletic Bilbao expires at the end of the season, and the 27-year-old has failed to agree terms with the club over a new deal at San Mames.

And, with the centre back already able to agree a free transfer, his representatives are in Italy discussing the possibility of a Bosman move in the summer, according to the report.

That means Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will have to move fast in pursuit of the player, if he wishes to lure Amorebieta to the Premier League.

The Gunners are relatively light in the central defensive position this season, with full-back Bacary Sagna filling in when required at the Emirates Stadium.

And, with the error-prone back four struggling to keep clean sheets this season, it's no surprise to see Arsenal linked with a player nicknamed 'the butcher of Bilbao'.

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