You do sometimes wonder why a club sign a player when they end up nowhere near the first team. It would make sense if they were told the plan was to develop them and integrate them into the team slowly, but if the player is demanding to leave after a few months then something has gone wrong.
That seems to be the situation facing Juventus defender Merih Demiral. He’s played in one league game this year despite the long term injury to Giorgio Chilellini and the erratic form of Matthijs de Ligt, so he must feel like he will never get a chance.
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This tweet from Dean Jones of Bleacher Report indicates that he wants out in January:
Merih Demiral now keen to get out of Juve. Starting to seem pretty likely in Jan, even though club not sure they want to lose him.
Arsenal, Tottenham, United interested. Juve won’t sell for less than €30m.
— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) December 9, 2019
You could make a reasonable case for all of those clubs looking to sign him. Man United still look poor at the back, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof still don’t appear to be convincing as a pairing and the Turkish defender is only 21, so would fit perfectly into the type of signing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made lately.
Arsenal are in a mess, we still don’t know who will be the long term manager but it appears that David Luiz wasn’t the answer to their defensive woes. It would be a big ask for Demiral to step in at his age and turn the team around, but he should at least be an upgrade on the current options.
Spurs might not have an immediate need, but Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are getting older and it’s not clear if they will sign new contracts or leave in the Summer. Jose Mourinho might want to get someone in now with a view to integrating them ahead of next season.
The mooted fee of €30m is relatively cheap in the current market, so it could be a signing that makes sense for all three teams. It certainly sounds like he’s willing to go, it just remains to be seen if any team steps up and makes a suitable offer.