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Arsenal lining up 21-year-old Italian defender - reports

AC Milan

Rumours that Arsenal are preparing a swoop for AC Milan right-back Mattia De Sciglio are doing the rounds in Italy.

Several Italian websites are newspapers have reported Sports Direct News' story that Arsenal are keen to sign AC Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio.

De Sciglio is expected to be an important figure for Italy at next summer's World Cup and is one of the few Rossoneri players to come through the team's recent difficulties with his reputation intact.

Arsenal are said to be preparing for the departure of Bacary Sagna, whose contract expires at the end of the season but could make their move in January.

Arsene Wenger is said to be an admirer of the homegrown Milan star who came to prominence last season when he was almost ever present in the Diavolo defence.

Perhaps De Sciglio's most notable attribute is his ability to play on either the left or right side of defence comfortably - something of a rarity in world class players.

Still very much a player on the rise, De Sciglio only made his national debut last March in Italy's 2-2 draw with Brazil but he also represented the Azzurri at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level.

After a dismal start to the season, Milan face an uncertain future with coach Max Allegri widely believed to be on his way out.

De Sciglio may not stick around at San Siro as his current employers flounder in mid-table, making Champions League qualification look like a big task.

image: © olaszmelo

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