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4th Dec, 2016 | 7:47pm

Arsenal in battle with Italian giants following £21m midfielder bid - report

By Emma Sanders

Juventus have made a £21million bid for Arsenal midfield target Franck Kessie, according to a report.

Goal claim the Italian giants have stepped up their interest in the Atalanta midfielder but their Serie A rivals are holding out for a higher bid and do not think Juventus offered enough.

The 19-year-old has been linked with a move to both Arsenal and Chelsea, with his agent confirming in September he has been contacted by the Gunners.

According to Goal, Arsenal have been tracking the youngster and expressed their interest earlier this season but they now face a battle with Juventus for his signature.

Kessie is one of Serie A’s brightest talents and Juventus are believed to be in search for a replacement for Paul Pogba, who left the club in the summer to join Manchester United.

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He has become an important member of the Atalanta side and has already made 13 appearances in the league this season, scoring five goals, including four in his first three games.

Juventus are ready to make an advanced offer in January and could meet the asking price of £30 million in the next transfer window due to the side suffering a number of key injuries.

Kessie is their main target and the two clubs have done a lot of successful business in the past according to the report.

Football Insider verdict:

Arsenal already have a number of options in midfield and will expect Jack Wilshere to return from his loan spell at Bournemouth at the end of the season so it’s unlikely they will be willing to match the asking price for Kessie. Arsene Wenger will have other priorities and given Juventus’ keen interest, it seems Arsenal may be forced to give up their pursuit of the youngster. He has only just started to cement his position in the first team so it’s unlikely he’ll be looking to leave club just yet, though interest from the Italian giants will be hard to turn down.

In other Arsenal news, Alan Shearer claims Alexis Sanchez must do this if he wants to be considered as world class.