Arsenal’s plan to make a more than £30million bid for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli will not matter amid his transfer preference, a report claims.
The 23-year-old made himself one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders with his displays last season. Despite playing a more defensive role, he chipped in with four Serie A goals and three assists. As such, transfer links with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City emerged earlier this year.
Arsenal have also had mentions as a suitor in recent weeks; the Gunners reportedly monitored his progress as he played 73 minutes of Italy’s Euro 2020 win over Turkey last Friday.
Since then, though, Juventus have made Locatelli a firm target alongside Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso.
Furthermore, according to the latest from Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italy international would prefer to move to the Serie A giants and stay in his home country.
Such a move would render Arsenal’s plans to bid €40million (£34million) for the midfielder largely pointless.
Should Arsenal lose out on the target, it would be the second time it has happened recently after Emiliano Buendia chose Aston Villa over The Emirates upon deciding to leave Norwich.
Locatelli is aware of the transfer interest in his services. Although, he has also not ruled out a move abroad.
Speaking in April, he said: “I don’t know if this will be my last year here or what the future holds for me.
“When, and if, there are opportunities, we will evaluate them all together. Playing abroad is an option for me and at the moment I’m not excluding anything.
“It’s part of my job and it means that I have raised my level. Certain certificates of esteem and interest from big clubs increase my motivations. They make me understand I’m on the right track.”
Arsenal could soon be lighter than they were in the midfield department, with Granit Xhaka closing in on a move to Roma.
Nevertheless, talks between the two clubs have hit a standstill, a report claims.
Arsenal hold centre-back transfer talks
While midfield is a priority area for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to strengthen this summer, so too is defence.
David Luiz has left, meaning there is room for a new arrival.
Reports claim that the Gunners have made a bid for Anderlecht’ Albert Sambi Lokonga.
According to another claim, though, talks have also been held with Brighton’s Ben White.