Arsenal are currently more likely to sign Manuel Locatelli than Juventus are, according to a report in Italy – but only because of one condition.
Locatelli is currently on duty with Italy at Euro 2020, where he impressed in the first couple of group games. He has since lost his place in the starting lineup to Marco Verratti, but is still in contention for their quarter-final with Belgium. If he plays, it will be the biggest game of a busy year for the 23-year-old.
A former AC Milan academy product, Locatelli has established himself as one of the best players outside of Serie A’s top seven clubs since joining Sassuolo in 2018. He went there on loan originally and the move became permanent after one year.
However, such a move is not a foregone conclusion – giving suitors like Arsenal hope.
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According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Sassuolo are asking for €40m to sell Locatelli. Juventus are only willing to go up to €30m, making up the rest by including lesser players in the deal. The Neroverdi, though, only want cash.
Furthermore, Juventus’ offer would be a loan with an option to buy, meaning Sassuolo would not receive the money until 2022.
Therefore, there is an opportunity for the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City to pounce. The report claims that both Premier League clubs would be more willing to pay the full fee in cash, giving them the edge.
Arsenal have made Locatelli offer
Arsenal seem to have greater need at present as they are currently replenishing their midfield. Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi were out on loan last season and will likely have no future at the Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka is a top target for Roma.
In fact, Gazzetta claim that Arsenal – along with Borussia Dortmund – have made an “important” offer for Locatelli.
Manchester City, as well as Real Madrid, are also mentioned as background contenders.
The player’s preference would be to remain in Serie A by joining Juventus. However, if the two clubs cannot find an agreement, he will have to explore other options. In such circumstances, he could end up in the Premier League.