Arsenal transfer news: Juventus star reaches big decision on January move amid claims Edu is keen on Gunners swap deal

Manuel Locatelli celebrates with Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus FC after scoring the goal of 2-0 during the Serie A football match between Juventus FC and Bologna FC at Juventus stadium in Torino

Manuel Locatelli has seemingly dealt Arsenal a transfer blow ahead of the January window by making a firm decision on his Juventus future.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has his team riding high after seven wins from their opening eight games of the season. Having bought so well over the last two summers, the Gunners look the side most likely to challenge Manchester City for Premier League glory.

However, in order to maintain their solid start, Arteta knows he will need to strengthen Arsenal’s squad in January.

Top of his wishlist is a new midfielder with Arteta keen to bring in cover and competition for Thomas Partey and the rejuvenated Granot Xhaka. He is keen on Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, having seen a summer offer of over £20m fall just short.

And their hopes look strong ahead of the January window amid claims that Luiz has already told friends he wants to move to Emirates Stadium.

However, Arsenal are keeping their options open with five midfielders seemingly on their wanted list.

Indeed, one of those is Locatelli, whom Arteta is a long-time admirer of. Arsenal tried and failed to land Locatelli from Sassuolo in summer 2021, only for Juventus to beat them to the punch.

But his time in Turin has not gone to plan with Locatelli struggling to make a big impact at the Allianz Stadium.

To that end, reports claim he will lose his place in Massimiliano Allegri’s side once Paul Pogba returns to full fitness.

In turn, that has led to suggestions that Locatelli could be made available for transfer in the January window.

Manuel Locatelli makes decision on January transfer

Per reports earlier this week, technical director Edu is looking to tempt Juventus into swap deal for Locatelli by offering them Albert Sambi Lokonga in a swap deal.

Lokonga has himself struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League following a 2021 move from Anderlecht. Costing £17.1m, Lokonga has only made 32 appearances and appears some way down the pecking order.

However, Calciomercato now claim Locatelli has decided against a move away from Juve in January. They write that he is adamant he can still become a success for the Bianconeri and is not yet ready to abandon that dream just 14 months into his arrival.

As such, he will continue to push for more minutes under Allegri as Juventus bid to climb the table.

Juve have endured a tough start to the season and currently sit seventh in the Serie A standings. However, they have lost just one of their eight games so far, with three wins and four draws.

And Locatelli believes he can play a leading role in their revival.

The 24-year-old is midway through a two-season loan at Juventus, though the Serie A giants have an obligation to make the move permanent in a £21.9m (€25m) deal next summer.

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