Premier League • England

Arsenal well ahead of the game as summer bid already lodged for quality Italy midfielder

Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli

Premier League leaders Arsenal are hoping to complete the signing of a Juventus and Italy midfielder this summer, having already lodged a bid for the player.

Manuel Locatelli, who is currently on loan at Juve from Sassuolo, has been linked with a switch to The Emirates before but it appears that the Gunners are making a concerted effort to land the player this summer.

Indeed, a report from Calciomercato claims that Arsenal chiefs have already made an offer for his services.

The 25-year-old has had a mixed spell in Turin, having failed to develop at the rate his performances at Euro 2020 suggested he would.

Juventus signed the player on loan in 2021 and they have an obligation to sign him permanently for a fee of around £32 million at the end of this season.

However, at this stage it looks unlikely that they will be willing to cough up that amount.

To that end, the door has opened up for Arsenal to sign a player they wanted prior to his switch to Juve.

Arteta wants to bolster his engine room this summer, having failed with two offers for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo in January.

The Gunners chief is looking for quality, with players like Mohamed Elneny and Albert Lokonga unlikely to play major roles next season.

Locatelli a much cheaper Rice option

West Ham’s Declan Rice remains another option, but the England man could cost triple the price of Locatelli.

And with Jorginho only on an 18-month deal, Arteta knows he needs to bring in another top-quality midfielder to supplement first-choice duo Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.

Calciomercato adds that Locatelli could also be open to heading to the Premier League, especially given the way his time at Juve is turning out,

Indeed, a fresh start in a different country could be just what he needs to fulfill his undoubted potential.

Meanwhile, one observer believes Liverpool will have to deal with a ‘big problem’ if they are beaten to the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham by Arsenal or Real Madrid.

Bellingham is another name linked with a switch to north London. However, he has long been linked with a switch to Anfield and is still favoured to join the Reds.

The Gunners are next in action on Saturday when they host London rivals Brentford at The Emirates.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Arsenal both call Jorge Mendes with incredible Barcelona transfer taking shape