Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have made transfer enquiries for Juventus defender Merih Demiral a source close to the player revealed to Turkish-Football.
United and Atleti contacted Demiral’s representatives regarding his availability and are keen on entering talks with Juventus.
The latest development follows Juventus signing Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax on an €85.5m [Transfermarkt] move.
Juventus are not prepared to loan Demiral and have already rejected an offer from AC Milan to sign Demiral on a permanent move.
The Bianconeri are not keen on selling the 1.92m tall defender to another Italian side without a buyback clause.
United are keen on strengthening their defence this summer. Demiral would be available for cheaper than current United targets Harry Maguire and Kalidou Koulibaly and Juventus would stand to make a profit within the same transfer window if they were to sell.
The powerful defender grew up a fan of Nemanja Vidic and modeled his style on the United legend.
Demiral recently told the Tam Saha magazine: “When I was young I always followed Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United. I used to watch clips of him on the internet. He’s still my idol even if he has retired. He was brave, a warrior, never gave up and was a true leader.”
Juve snapped up Demiral on an €18m move from Sassuolo in a transfer.
The Italian giants had an agreement with Sassuolo over a summer fee which was respected despite Atleti being prepared to offer more.
The arrival of De Ligt could spell uncertainty for Demiral in the squad.
Juve now have five first-team center-backs with Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele Rugani, Demiral and De Ligt.
Demiral was brought in as a potential long-term replacement for the aging Chiellini (34) and Bonucci (32).
The Turkey international’s priority is to stay at Juventus and fight for his place in the team.
But Demiral has strategically joined teams where he has been given the chance to establish himself as a first-choice defender.
He enjoyed a meteoric rise last season joining Alanyaspor on loan from Sporting Lisbon. Quickly establishing himself as one of the most highly-rated defenders in the league.
After excelling in Turkey he was snapped up by Sassuolo in January where he impressed in the Serie A before being signed by Juventus.
Demiral has also become a regular in the Turkish national team setup and was widely praised for his performance in the 2-0 victory over France in the Euro 2020 Group H qualifier.
He managed to keep the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud quiet, in fact, France failed to take a single shot on target.