Arsenal have definitively missed out on Manuel Locatelli after Juventus announced the signing of the Italy international from Sassuolo.
Locatelli was among the many midfielders linked with Arsenal over the summer transfer window. His name appeared in Gunners gossip with more frequency than many. But they knew they had a battle on their hands to convince him after Juventus also registered their interest.
Even so, reports as recent as this weekend suggested Arsenal still had a chance of signing Locatelli. However, any such speculation has now been ended.
Juventus confirmed on Wednesday evening that they have officially signed Locatelli from Sassuolo. They take the Euro 2020 winner on a free loan for two years, with an obligation to buy in 2023.
In a shrewd bit of business, they will only have to pay €25m for his permanent signature, and can do so in three instalments. Bonuses could add an extra €12.5m onto Locatelli’s transfer fee.
Locatelli was keen to join Juventus and has now got his wish – to Arsenal’s misfortune.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) August 18, 2021
He has thus signed a contract in Turin until 2026 for after his loan spell ends. Besides, the move will become permanent as soon as Juventus gain their first point of the Serie A season – only for the fee to be paid two years down the line.
Arsenal will thus have to look elsewhere if they still feel they need a new midfielder. They have already signed Albert Sambi Lokonga to strengthen that position this summer. But they may be on the lookout for another option still.
Arsenal close to announcing Odegaard
While that may be one bit of bad news for Arsenal, some positive relief may be about to arrive.
After a summer-long pursuit, the Gunners are close to announcing the return of attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard. Their patience seems to have paid off, with reports revealing the full details of the transfer.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted Odegaard’s permanent transfer to Arsenal is ‘confirmed’. They will pay just under €40m and Odegaard will sign a ‘five-year’ contract.
The Metro also covered the story, claiming a clause will be in Odegaard’s deal. However, it will not be a buy-back clause as had been speculated.
Instead, Real Madrid have ‘included a first-refusal clause’. In essence, that means Real Madrid will have the opportunity to re-sign Odegaard should Arsenal accept a bid for his signature in the future.
The outlet stated Arsenal hope to have Odegaard registered in time to feature against Chelsea on Sunday.