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Arsenal weighing up January move for Juventus' Kenan Yildiz?

Arsenal weighing up January move for Kenan Yildiz?
© Reuters
Arsenal are reportedly considering a January approach for 18-year-old Juventus and Turkey striker Kenan Yildiz, who is also admired by Liverpool.

Arsenal are reportedly considering a January approach for Juventus and Turkey striker Kenan Yildiz.

The 18-year-old German-born attacker spent 10 years in the Bayern Munich academy between 2012 and 2022 before making the switch to Juventus, with whom he scored 12 goals in 31 games at Under-19 level.

On the back of his impressive exploits for the youth team, Yildiz was promoted to the senior ranks for the 2023-24 campaign under Massimiliano Allegri, providing cover and competition to Dusan Vlahovic, Federico Chiesa, Moise Kean and Arkadiusz Milik up top.

Yildiz made his senior debut for the Old Lady on the opening day of the 2023-24 Serie A season, coming off the bench in a 3-0 win over Udinese, and he has since made another four top-flight appearances for Allegri's team.

All five of the 18-year-old's cameos have been off the bench, and he is yet to register a goal or assist for the Bianconeri first team, but he has already earned his stars at senior level for Turkey.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts on December 2, 2023© Reuters

Yildiz won his first cap for his country in October and has one goal and one assist from his first three games for Turkey, scoring his maiden international goal in a 3-2 friendly win over birth nation Germany last month.

Three days later, the ex-Bayern youngster then won a penalty for Yusuf Yazici to convert in a 1-1 Euro 2024 qualifying draw against Wales, helping his nation seal a first-placed finish in their qualifying group.

A versatile attacker, Yildiz can be deployed as a number 10, left winger and second striker, and back in the summer, Juventus tied their highly-rated prospect down to a new contract until the summer of 2027.

However, according to Turkish-Football - via football.london - Arsenal have not been deterred by Yildiz's recent renewal and could try to make a move for the Turkey international when the transfer window reopens next month.

The Gunners will not enjoy a straightforward negotiating process, though, as Yildiz's contract renewal means that Juventus can play hardball in talks over a fee, and the Old Lady apparently turned down several loan bids for the striker over the summer.

Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their fifth goal with teammates on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Arsenal are only one of several teams thought to be tracking Yildiz's progress too, and the report adds that Liverpool sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has been following the teenager for some time.

The Gunners allowed Folarin Balogun to depart for Monaco over the summer but did not directly replace the USA international, as Mikel Arteta has attempted to transform Kai Havertz into a midfielder since his summer arrival.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah remain the Gunners' two out-and-out central options, but both players have struggled to string together a consistent goalscoring streak, while injuries have also plagued the former.

A big-name striker is therefore expected to be Arsenal's top priority in the summer of 2024 amid links with Brentford's Ivan Toney and Napoli's Victor Osimhen, but Juve's Vlahovic has ruled out a move to North London.

Before pursuing a new number nine, the Gunners are on the hunt for midfield reinforcements in January, when Thomas Partey is due to represent Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic celebrates scoring their first goal on September 16, 2023
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