Last week, reports emerged from Italy alleging that Juventus are prepared to listen to offers for centre-back Angelo Ogbonna.
The 26-year-old moved to the Turin giants from local rivals Torino last summer amid a flurry of interest from clubs around Europe, including Manchester United.
But the highly-rated Italian struggled to assert himself in his first season at Vinovo, clocking just 14 Serie A starts as the Old Lady marched to a third straight Scudetto.
And with new boss Massimiliano Allegri in the door following Antonio Conte’s departure, Sportmediaset claimed Juventus would be willing to part ways with Ogbonna for €12 million.
The Italian outlet listed Arsenal as one of the sides taking a keen interest in the former United target, with a number of La Liga outfits also keeping tabs on the situation.
According to Tuttomercatoweb director Michele Criscitiello, the first move for Ogbonna has now indeed come from the Spanish top flight - namely, from Peter Lim-owned Valencia.
Juventus, however, rejected the approach from Los Che - who reportedly bid €10 million, below the Old Lady’s firm €12 million valuation of a player that only arrived a year ago.
Singaporean billionaire Lim’s takeover of Valencia is set to be finalised in the coming days, and with his financial firepower behind the club, a revised offer to meet Juventus’ needs certainly can’t be ruled out.
Yet, the Serie A champions’ rejection of the Mestalla club’s proposal may have presented a window for Arsenal to pip them to Ogbonna’s signature.
The Italian defender is a tailor-made replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, who looks to be edging closer to the exit door at the Emirates with reports claiming he’s unwilling to negotiate a new contract.
Juventus’ requirement to let Ogbonna walk appears hard and fast at €12 million, and if Arsenal move quickly to satisfy this demand, could foreseeably get their man.
Valencia could quite possibly be playing a bargaining game with the Old Lady by offering less than Ogbonna’s appraisal, equipped to ultimately pay full price should it come to that.
But Arsenal would do well to take advantage of Juventus’ hard-line stance by stepping in with a bid of their own - and wrapping up a deal before Valencia can move in with improved terms.