Serie A heavyweights Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have reportedly stepped up their interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta, who has been a summer target for Arsenal.
The 27-year-old's contract with the La Liga outfit will expire at the end of the season. The two parties failed to agree on an extension and it is now understood that Bilbao have withdrawn the offer of a new deal.
Last week, Amorebieta's agent had revealed that they were holding negotiations with Arsenal and the player could join the Gunners at the end of the season. However, according to Sky Sports, the Venezuela international's representatives are currently in Italy talking to a host of Serie A clubs, including Milan, Juventus and Inter.
Amorebieta, who is now regarded as one of the best centre-backs in La Liga, has made over 250 appearances for Bilbao in all competitions, since breaking into the club's first team in 2005. The defender played a crucial role in the Lions' impressive Europa League campaign last season, where they beat the likes of Manchester United on their way to the final.
However, Amorebieta had picked up 16 yellows and three reds in the same season and is considered by many as aggressive and slightly reckless. This might raise a few questions in the minds of his suitors but it would be interesting to see if a top flight outfit would pass the chance to snap up the Bilbao star as a free agent.
Amorebieta's team-mate Fernando Llorente, who was earlier linked to Arsenal, has already agreed on a deal with Juventus, and the striker would move to Turin on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has backed Juventus to win Serie A this season. The Bianconeri are currently six points clear of second-placed Napoli in the league table, with 58 points from 26 matches.
"Will Juve win Serie A? Absolutely. That's what I think. But after the two matches of Napoli and our next match, we could think about the second place. Now it's too early to talk about it, however," Galliani said.
Milan are currently fourth in the league, with 45 points, two behind Lazio and one above archrivals Inter.