Fabrizio Romano has revealed the state of play regarding Manuel Locatelli, with both Manchester United and Arsenal tipped to go after his signature.
Locatelli had a successful Euro 2020 championship, scoring twice in five outings to help Italy win the trophy for the second time. He was playing for Sassuolo at the time, but his top displays on the Euros stage put some big clubs on alert.
Arsenal were desperate to take the central midfielder to north London. They approached Sassuolo over a transfer, only for Juventus to march in and win the race.
Locatelli joined Juve on a season-long loan with the obligation to buy. As per Sky Sports, this clause stood at £29.8m (€35m).
Locatelli made 43 appearances during his debut season with Juve, registering three goals and five assists. He remains an important part of Max Allegri’s plans and has featured in six Serie A matches so far this term, only missing the other two as a result of muscle fatigue.
On September 19, Locatelli’s future came into question once again. Italian source Calciomercato put the 24-year-old on Juve’s exit list, and this prompted Arsenal to ‘relaunch’ their interest in him.
With Paul Pogba almost back to full fitness, Juve are preparing to let Locatelli go in the January transfer window. And Mikel Arteta’s side are at the front of the queue to sign the Italian, according to an update from Calciomercato.
Other reports from Italy have claimed Manchester United could pursue Locatelli. He would arrive at Old Trafford to replace either Fred or Scott McTominay.
Romano weighs in on Manuel Locatelli future
Romano has reacted to the rumours by stating Arsenal were ‘really pushing’ to capture Locatelli a year ago. However, the journalist doesn’t think there is anything in the Locatelli to United talk.
During an interview with CaughtOffside, Romano said: “Some reports in Italy have been talking up Manuel Locatelli and a possible move to the Premier League again, so what’s really the player’s history in terms of transfer offers from England?
“Arsenal were really pushing to sign Locatelli one year ago, but then he wanted to join Juventus. I have no further news on Manchester United or Arsenal being in talks with Locatelli’s representatives, or with Juventus.
“I suspect there’s little chance they will be thinking about letting him leave right now.”
It is therefore unlikely Arsenal or United fans will be seeing Locatelli represent their clubs over the next few seasons.
Instead, the star will try to help Juve get back to their best. They are seventh in the Italian top flight right now, seven points behind leaders Napoli and Atalanta.
Of course, a move for Locatelli could go through in the future. Arsenal will be keeping tabs on the situation just to see if he becomes available for transfer at any point.
But that is unlikely as things stand, meaning Arsenal and United will prioritise other transfers next year.
Arsenal and United are in a battle with Liverpool over Leicester’s Belgium international Youri Tielemans.