Arsenal’s midfielder hopes in gutter after Azzurri star says ‘no’

Matthew Briggs
Manuel Locatelli Matteo-Pessina Italy Euro 2020 TEAMtalk

Arsenal’s hopes of landing Italy star Manuel Locatelli are in the gutter after the Azzurri midfielder reportedly shut down the transfer talk.

Arsenal are looking to strengthen their midfield after a number of departures this summer. Matteo Guendouzi, Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos have left, while Granit Xhaka also looks likely to move on.

That has left a huge hold in Mikel Arteta’s engine room and the club are believed to be working hard behind the scenes to add new faces.

One of those targeted is Locatelli, with Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali confirming Arsenal have made an offer for the 23-year-old.

“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli. They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid… we will see,” Carnevali said, via the Mirror.

“Juventus also want Locatelli and we have a special relationship with them. A new meeting has been scheduled with Juve.

“We are trying to leave the lad calm, so I haven’t spoken to him or his agents yet.

“We can think about Locatelli’s future, but above all we care about his present and that means Italy doing well at the Euros.”

Locatelli though is said to favour a move to Turin and Italian journalist Paolo Bargiggia claims the player has given Arsenal the thumbs down.

Bargiggia told Juventusnews24: “Juventus will take him for sure. The boy said no to Arsenal.

“The formula is complex: Juve are doing everything not to take him under the obligation of redemption, while Sassuolo push.

“There’s talk of a €40m operation. Eventually, it will do: one way or another.”


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 Arsenal’s resolve

The latest news from Italy leaves Arsenal with an uphill struggle to land Locatelli, at best.

Il Bianconero have reported that Juve will meet with Sassuolo in the coming days to hammer out a transfer.

The outlet also claimed Arsenal’s resolve remains and the English club “does not give up” in their bid to land the 13-cap Azzurri star.

The Gunners apparently have “no intention” of letting Juve have a free run at the player.

However, it could be the end of the road with Locatelli now firmly thinking about Juventus.

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