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Brendan Rodgers Coy on 'Talented' Merih Demiral Amid Juventus Rejection Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2020

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 15: Merih Demiral of Juventus during the Serie A match between Juventus and Udinese Calcio at Allianz Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)
Chris Ricco/Getty Images

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted he wants to sign "talented" Juventus defender Merih Demiral, but the Bianconeri have reportedly decided they won't sell the Turk in January.

Per MailOnline's Tom Collomosse and Simon Jones, Rodgers was asked about rumours Juventus have turned down a £25 million opening bid from the Foxes. He remained coy with his response: "We know what we want to do this window, and we'll try. We know we want to strengthen. At this stage of the season, all the rumours are there. He's a talented player. There is nothing to add."

Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly also looking at the Turkey international. Per Sky Italia (h/t Goal), Dortmund have also made an unsuccessful offer:

Goal @goal

Leicester have had a bid in excess of £25.5 million for Juventus defender Merih Demiral rejected, according to Sky Italy 💰 Borussia Dortmund are also said to have failed with a £34 million offer ❌ https://t.co/dMYHEAXjbH

Per Goal's Romeo Agresti, Demiral will not be allowed to leave in January:

Romeo Agresti @romeoagresti

#Juventus are ready to reject any potential offers for Merih #Demiral during this transfer window ❌🇹🇷@goal

The 21-year-old was one of three talented young defenders to join Juventus in the summer, with Matthijs de Ligt and Cristian Romero also making the switch. The latter was sent back on loan to Genoa, and De Ligt soon become a starter after Giorgio Chiellini went down with a serious injury.

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Demiral has had to wait for his chance but finally made his second start in a UEFA Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen in December. He has started every match since, impressing greatly along the way.

While his great form has increased the transfer speculation, it has also seemingly strengthened Juventus' resolve to keep him.

Blogger Juvefc.com believes the club would be mad to sell at this stage:

Juventus News - Juvefc.com @juvefcdotcom

Chiellini has a season at best left in him, Bonucci is 33 this year, Rugani is a backup, Romero isn't ready yet. Leaves us with Matthijs and Merih, both wanted by half the club's in Europe. There's a good reason they're both in demand but you can't put a price on our defence.

With Chiellini's return still a question mark, depth is limited at the centre-back position. Leonardo Bonucci has been an automatic starter, and De Ligt, Demiral and Daniele Rugani are the only other natural centre-backs in the squad.

Demiral could still leave in January but will likely cost a massive fee for a player who has started just five matches in all club competitions this season. He's a big part of the team's long-term plans, with Chiellini (35) and Bonucci (32) getting up there in age.

Leicester's depth at the centre-back position took a major hit on Saturday, with both Filip Benkovic and Wes Morgan suffering injuries, per Jordan Blackwell of the Leicester Mercury. The former was making his full debut for the Foxes.

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