Juventus have new defensive target, may leave Manolas to Arsenal

Stadio Juventus F.C.

While Juventus haven't given up on Olympiacos defender Kostas Manolas, the Italian side have started to move for Benfica's Luisão.

Juventus have entered talks for Brazilian centre-back Luisão, which may be an indication that they are ready to give up on Kostas Manolas, who is on Arsenal's shopping list.

The Bianconeri are looking for a defensive addition ahead of the 2014-15 campaign after an injury to Italian international Andrea Barzagli and have made enquiries for Greek star Manolas.

But the weight of competition may have put Juventus off, as Arsenal, Roma and Napoli are all also said to be pursuing Manolas.

The latest reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that Juventus sporting director Beppe Marotta is still hopeful of luring Manolas, but he has found a new target in Luisão.

The 33-year-old is something of a stalwart at the back for Benfica, where he has played over 250 games since arriving in 2003.

Luisão has a Portuguese passport, which is good for Juventus who don't want to risk exceeding their limit of non-EU players.

Juventus have reportedly made contact with Benfica to ask about Luisão's availability and have begun to discuss provisional terms with the player's representative.

La Gazzetta dello Sport insists that Juventus are much more interested in Manolas and talks for the Olympiacos man have gone much further, but Marotta is already preparing his back-up plan in case his primary objective favours a move elsewhere.

Arsenal may see this as an encouraging sign that Juventus don't feel they can beat them in a head-to-head for Manolas.

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