Medhi Benatia says he is staying at Juventus despite transfer speculation

Juventus defender Medhi Benatia has dismissed speculation that he could leave the club in January, saying he wants to stay and fight for his place.

Benatia has had limited opportunities since joining from Bayern Munich on an initial loan deal in the summer.

There have been reports of interest from clubs including Marseille and Spartak Moscow, but the 29-year-old Morocco captain said he was not entertaining the idea of leaving Turin.

"First of all I'm focusing on playing a good African Nations Cup, which is a very big objective for me, and then I will return with the ambition of being ready," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Each time I've played, I've always tried to do my best.

"Now [Juve coach Massimiliano] Allegri is picking others, and I respect that -- I always respect the coach's decisions.

"I will be ready when called upon. We have a top quality squad, but I am certainly staying at Juventus this January."

Benatia has been an unused substitute in Juve's last four games, even with Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci out injured.

The former Udinese and Roma defender will return to Munich in July if Juve do not take up their option to sign him permanently.