According to reports in Italy, Arsenal want to sign Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli this summer and are willing to offer left-back Kieran Tierney to the Turin-based club in a swap deal. The Gunners could make another attempt to sign the Italian midfielder this summer.
Arsenal have exceeded all expectations this season. After 27 games in the Premier League, they currently lead Manchester City by 5 points, while also performing well in the Europa League. As the success in the previous transfer windows has reflected positively in the results, Sporting Director Edu and his team want to plan ahead, with the summer window arriving in less than 3 months.
The Gunners had previously tried to sign the Locatelli, but failed in their attempt. Mikel Arteta’s side made an attempt to sign the Italian midfielder in the summer of 2021 by offering Sassuolo’s asking price, but the player deciding on joining Juventus instead.
According to Calcio Mercato Web (via HITC), Arsenal are set to revive their interest in Manuel Locatelli this summer and are ready to offer Kieran Tierney to the Old Lady in a swap deal. The Gunners are willing to part ways with the Scottish left-back to sweeten the deal.
Before this winter transfer window, the 25-year-old was again on the club’s radar, with a swap deal involving Albert Sambi Lokonga. Since nothing materialised during January, the North London side have pinned their hopes on a possible transfer for the midfielder before the new season commences in August.
Kieran Tierney arrived at the Emirates in 2019 from Celtic for a fee of around £25 million. He was a regular under manager Mikel Arteta as the primary left-back until this campaign. It all changed with the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer, who has been exceptional in that position.
With the Scotland international struggling for game-time now, it is understandable why the North London side want to offload him to bring in a midfielder. However, the report also added that the Bianconeri are not much eager to pursue such a deal.
Manuel Locatelli played most of his youth football at AC Milan, before moving to Sassuolo on a permanent deal in the summer of 2019. Juventus then came knocking on Sassuolo’s door for the 25-year-old defensive midfielder in 2021.
The Serie A giants worked out a deal to bring him to the Allianz Stadium on a two-year loan, with an obligation to buy in the summer of 2023 for around £26 million. In 75 matches for Juve so far, he has three goals and five assists (stats via Transfermarkt).
#Arsenal are interested in bringing in Manuel #Locatelli once again this summer and even want to offer Kieran #Tierney in exchange. However Juve haven’t even considered this and have no interest in offers for the player (@TuttoMercatoWeb )
— 🎥 All JuveCast🎙 🏳️🏴 (@AllJuveCast) March 8, 2023
The Italian midfielder has been one of the positives for the club amid their tumultuous last two seasons. The current season is already dampened by a 15 points deduction from their league tally due to alleged financial wrongdoings, which saw most of their board members and officials resign from their positions.
Locatelli also has 24 appearances for the Italian national team and was an important member of their triumphant Euro campaign in 2021.
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The report, in any case, highlights Kieran Tierney’s bleak long-term future at the North London club. The left-back is also linked with a move to fellow English club, Newcastle United. Arsenal would definitely prefer the swap deal over the Newcastle move.
However, the Gunners need to be careful with their offer as Juventus are unwilling to authorise the transfer. They should avoid getting drawn into a lengthy negotiation that lasts the entire window such that they miss out on potential alternatives to Locatelli, ultimately being counterproductive for Arteta’s team.
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