Reported Arsenal and United target: Interest from Juventus 'gratifying'

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Arsenal and Manchester United-linked Fabian Schar is happy to know of interest from Juventus, but he has left all options open.

Fabian Schar is a tantalising prospect for Europe’s top clubs. With enormous potential to become a top centre-back, the defender’s contract with Basel is set to expire in June.

Renewing with the Swiss giants doesn’t look a priority for the 22-year-old – he even said so himself. It seems only a matter of time before he moves on to a new challenge.

Schar has always maintained that he would jump at the opportunity to move to one of the continent’s most illustrious divisions. The question is which one he will choose.

From the Premier League, it’s Arsenal and Manchester United that have been closely linked with him of late. Both could sorely use a centre-back, especially a young, malleable one.

Instead of waiting to try to sign him for free, however, the two English heavyweights are said to be eyeing up a cut-price January deal for the Basel star.

Both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger have objectives to achieve this term and adding quality centre-back would help both in pursuing short and long-term goals.

But Schar has eyes on him from all over. Earlier this month he admitted having an affinity for the Bundesliga and Serie A in addition to being enticed by the Premier League.

Juventus and Inter are his primary suitors in the Italian top flight, the Bianconeri in particular requiring reinforcements at the back due to an injury crisis.

And Schar says that he is flattered to know that the Italian champions are tracking him, saying anything could happen come January.

The Swiss international told Calciomercato.it: “It is certainly very gratifying to know that an important club like Juventus thought of me for their defence.

“Serie A is very important with some very strong teams. It’s a very interesting tournament that any player would like to measure himself up against.”

“Did I speak to [Juventus wing-back Stephan] Lichtsteiner about it? Yes, on rare occasions, but we did discuss Italian football with Stephan.

“I won’t rule it [moving to Serie A in January] out. In football, as in life, anything is possible. At this moment I am concentrated on doing well with Basel. In January we’ll see what happens.”

Schar’s words don’t necessarily mean that he would take Juventus over Arsenal or Manchester United at a push, but they do highlight the intense competition for his signature.

It’s possible a score of clubs move for him in January to avoid being beaten to the punch by rivals, as waiting to sign him to a pre-contract could mean missing out on him.

Certainly it will be interesting to see how the battle for Schar’s services unfolds, as in all likelihood at the very latest he’ll no longer be at Basel by next summer.

The Swiss should have plenty of options to consider – leaving Arsenal and United with some convincing to do – as the destination he chooses will set the course of the rest of his young career.

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