Manchester United are set to swoop for Juventus wing back Stephan Lichtsteiner in the summer, pipping both Chelsea and Arsenal to his signature.
The veteran defender’s contract with the Italian giants expires at the end of the season, and there has been no movement in contract talks between the club and the player, meaning that he can leave for free at the end of the season.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been keeping an eye on Lichtsteiner’s situation throughout the season, and have considered moves for him.
They could both potentially make a move for him in January, but there is a keenness in Turin to keep hold of him for as long as possible.
This means Juve are unlikely to sanction his sale in the January transfer window.
With Man Utd keen to bring him in for a free in the summer, according to the Daily Express, that could put them in pole position to sign him.
Lichtsteinen fits Louis van Gaal’s desire to sign a right sided wing back in the near future.
Arsenal have been hindered in their chase for defensive recruitments, after Juventus offered Stephan Lichtsteiner a new contract.
The Gunners have had a series of injuries to their back line since the new campaign began.
Mathieu Debuchy has hardly featured since his transfer from Newcastle United in the summer, having suffered a three month injury shortly after making his debut.
Laurent Koscielny has also been unavailable for large swathes of the season.
While Calum Chambers has deputised regularly at both right back and in the middle of the defence, his recent suspension rules him out for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle.
As a result, the Premier League giants were keen to recruit more options in January.
Lichtsteiner’s contractual situation, set to expire next summer, made him an ideal option for Arsene Wenger’s side, but it now seems as though a move for him will be far more difficult.
His agent Federico Pastorello met with managing director Beppe Marotta yesterday to discuss a new deal, according to reports from the Italian press.
This will likely hinder the Emirates Stadium club in signing him, given that they were hopeful of agreeing a pre-contract deal ahead of a free summer swap.
Arsenal are going to attempt to push through a move for Juventus right back Stephan Lichtsteiner prior to the January window, with the hope of securing him for a cut price fee in the process, as reported by the Daily Express.
The Juve player’s contract expires at the end of the current season, and that means Arsenal could capture him for less than his true value.
However, if a move is not agreed before January, Lichtsteiner could agree a pre contract deal with another side, with the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea thought to be circling for a possible bosman move in the summer.
While Lichtsteiner would not be available in the Champions League, having played for the Italian side in the competition already this season, Arsenal require defensive additions, especially on the right side.
The Gunners would likely not be able to compete with other sides on wages offered, and hope to secure a move that would work for Juve, one where they receive a fee for a player they spent €10 million on, rather than losing him for free.