Juventus are ready to block January departures for Medhi Benatia and Daniele Rugani,

Juventus are ready to block January departures for Medhi Benatia and Daniele Rugani, according to a report.

Both men have been heavily linked with moves heading into the winter window, with competitive game time proving hard to come by.

Benatia has been restricted to just six outings this season, leading the Morocco international to express his frustration at life on the fringes of the fold.

He told La Stampa in early November: “I can hardly play a game every so often. Last year I did well because I had more continuity. Unfortunately, now I do not have it. Part of my job is that I always have to work to make myself ready, but it is not a pleasant situation.

“I am available to the team, as long as I stay here, I will give my best. It’s normal that this is not good for me. I’m 31 and I have to try to play as much as possible. Let’s see in January what will happen, how much I have been used, if Juventus need me.”

While Benatia has been used sparingly by Massimiliano Allegri, fellow defender Rugani has seen even less first-team football.

The 24-year-old has made just three appearances in 2018-19, with his father among those to question Juve’s selection policy.

He posted on Facebook: “There is no need to say anything, this face explains everything, but soon it will be history, and we will take back, with interest, all that he deserves. Vamos DR24, for me, on my life, the best Italian defender.”

Juve hold Rugani in high regard, while Benatia brings important experience to the fold, but the reigning Serie A champions boast a settled centre-half pairing in Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

As a result, alternative options have to be patient and accept their role in the squad.

The Bianconeri have no intention of parting with anyone considered to be important to Allegri’s plans for 2018-19.

Opportunities may present themselves to Benatia and Rugani, with the former drawing interest from AC Milan while the latter is a long-standing target for the likes of Chelsea and Roma.

No transfer talks will be opened, though, with sporting director Fabio Paratici prepared to fend off any advances.

It had been hoped that contract extensions could be put in place with Benatia and Rugani, with discussions having been mooted, but no deals have been done and uncertainty continues to reign.

The picture may become clearer over the coming months, but Juve have made it clear that January will not be the time for clarity, with exciting youngster Moise Kean set to be the only player allowed to head out of the Allianz Stadium on a potential loan deal.

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