Transfer news: Arsenal and Manchester United 'interested' in Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna - reports

Two clubs could move for Italy defender in January, according to reports

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Manchester United and Arsenal could fight over the signature of Juventus and Italy defender Angelo Ogbonna, according to reports.

Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal are both suffering from acute defensive problems because of injury.

Arsenal have just six first-team defenders in their squad and two of those, Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal, are injured - Wenger has already been forced to field youngsters Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin this season.

United were forced to play Paddy McNair at centre-back against West Ham at the weekend because of injuries to Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and suspension to Tyler Blackett.

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Paddy McNair played for Manchester United at the weekend as four centre-backs were missing

According to reports in Italy and the Daily Mirror  both Premier League clubs are taking an interest in the 26-year-old centre-back.

Juventus are currently flying high in Serie A and have won all five of their matches, scoring 10 goals and conceding none; they also beat Malmo 2-0 in the Champions League.

Ogbonna, who is also capable of playing left-back, has started in four of those matches and come on in another one.

The defender is strong in the tackle and in the air, standing at 6ft 2in, quick and comfortable in possession.

He is confident bringing the ball out of defence, though he is prone to the occasional rash challenge. Juventus play a 3-5-2 formation, similar to Van Gaal started the season with, and Ogbonna played the majority on the left side.

Last season, his first with the Old Lady, he was mostly a back-up with Antonio Conte preferring the trio of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci. But this season new manager Massimiliano Allegri has opted for Ogbonna with Barzagli out injured.

Ogbonna was criticised at points last year but says the new manager has helped him improve.

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Arsenal have just four senior defenders available

"Last year I received too much criticism, even some very biased," Ogbonna told Tuttosport.

"Now I’m playing regularly and I know that from myself, as from all my teammates, the best is always expected.

"Certainly, we have had a great start to the season."

He added: "With Allegri we exchanged a few words and I have to admit he has spurred me on to improve myself.

"I had a great desire for redemption. It is not a question of psychology. Last year maybe I suffered a bit in preparation.

"With Conte we worked a lot and I have a different psychical size and I felt the fatigue. Playing less I struggled to get into the mechanics of a game. But the club has always had faith in me and now I’m playing."

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