Arsenal's wish to sign Mehdi Benatia from Juventus during the upcoming January transfer window is unlikely to be granted as the Italian giants have knocked back the Gunners' latest bid.

Arsene Wenger is keen to strengthen Arsenal's defence during the upcoming transfer window and is keen to add the experience of the Morocco international. The north London club have the joint-worst defensive record alongside Liverpool among the top six clubs having conceded 23 goals in 20 Premier League games.

Moreover, Wenger is looking for an experienced defender to take the place of Per Mertesacker, who is retiring at the end of the season and taking over a role in Arsenal's academy. The Gunners will be left with just two experienced central defenders in Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.

The north London club were linked with a move for Benatia's teammate Daniele Rugani, but according to the Sun, Wenger is keen to sign an experienced player rather than the young potential at this moment. The French coach has a number of young defenders at his disposal at Arsenal with Calum Chambers and Rob Holding waiting to step up.

The report, via Italian publication Calcio Mercato, claims that Arsenal have moved forward to firm up their interest in the defender and have submitted a £35m ($46.8m) bid to bring the Moroccan to the Emirates Stadium in January. However, Juventus are not keen on letting the player leave and have outrightly rejected the Gunners' advances.

The 30-year-old defender, who has previously played for As Roma and Bayern Munich, is an integral part of Massimiliano Allegri's squad and is a regular at centre-back alongside Giorgio Chiellini. He has made 14 appearances in all competitions this season and has even contributed with two goals with the most recent coming during their 1-0 win over Roma on Sunday (24 December).

Apart from Benatia, Arsenal have also been linked with moves for Southampton's Virgil van Dijk and West Bromwich Albion's Jonny Evans. A move for the former is unlikely as the Saints have set a £70m price tag for interested clubs. The latter, meanwhile, was linked with a move in the summer as well and remains an option.

Mehdi Benatia
Arsenal are interested in signing Benatia during the upcoming January transfer window Getty