Manchester United Made Approach for Juventus' Merih Demiral, Says Fabio Paratici

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 15, 2019

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JULY 21: Merih Demiral of Juventus is seen on arrival at the stadium prior to the International Champions Cup match between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur at the Singapore National Stadium on July 21, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)
Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has said that Manchester United made an approach for defender Merih Demiral in the summer transfer window. 

He told Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Joe Bray at the Manchester Evening News) that the 21-year-old was a target for the Red Devils and Serie A rivals AC Milan.

"He is our player who has had the most deals on the market, don’t imagine how many," he said. "The Turk was requested by Milan but was also approached by Manchester United."

Demiral only joined Juventus in July from Sassuolo for 18 million (£16.5 million), signing a five-year deal with the Italian champions:

JuventusFC @juventusfcen

OFFICIAL⎮Merih Demiral is a Juventus player! ⚫️⚪️ ➡️https://t.co/EDPOe2RBCe #WelcomeMerih #LiveAhead https://t.co/jTY9JGbdrJ

There was initial speculation that Juve would send the youngster out on loan. However, his agent, Cenk Melik Yazici, has said he will stay in Turin this season, per Fiorentinanews.com (h/t Football Italia).

"Merih is happy and nobody wants to sell him now, " he said. "Demiral will remain at Juventus, the club won’t sell or loan him out."

Turkish Football's Emre Sarigul has been impressed with Demiral in pre-season:

Eren Sarigul @_ErenSarigul

Merih Demiral already looking incredible for Juventus 💪

Turkish Football @Turkish_Futbol1

Merih Demiral has such a high ceiling. He’s been brilliant since coming on. Important tackles, bringing intensity to the defence, roughing up Inter players. Beast! https://t.co/Z6MQvknxre

Yet the youngster faces a battle for first-team minutes with Maurizio Sarri's side. Juventus also brought in Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt over the summer to join Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani in the squad.

Meanwhile, Manchester United strengthened their defence by signing centre-back Harry Maguire from Leicester City:

Manchester United @ManUtd

We have an important announcement to make... Welcome, @HarryMaguire93 👋 #MUFC

The England international arrived for a fee of £80 million and will command wages of £190,000 per week, according to the Athletic (h/t Andy Wilson at the Daily Express).

Maguire's move makes him the world's most expensive defender, and he will be expected to significantly improve a defence that conceded 54 goals in 38 Premier League games last season.