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Via Romano: Arsenal Open to Meeting Club’s Asking Price For This 23-year old Midfield Target

Arsenal, Manuel Locatelli, Sassuolo

Arsenal have long been linked with Manuel Locatelli who plays for Italian club Sassuolo. The 23-year-old has been on Arsenal’s radar all summer and despite the player preferring a move to Serie A giants Juventus, they have not given up on the move yet.

The Guardian reported that Juventus are interested in acquiring the player’s services but are offering a loan deal for the 2021-22 season with an obligation-to-buy clause next summer for a sum of €30 million. Nevertheless, Sassuolo rejected the offer and told Juve to front the full €40m this summer if they want to sign the midfielder.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano tweeted that Arsenal are prepared to pay Sassuolo’s €40m asking price for the young Italian midfielder in a straight deal. But the Gunners would only move ahead with the offer if they are convinced that he would be happy with a move to North London.

The player also admitted earlier that he is open to the prospect of playing football outside Italy. When asked about whether he would consider playing outside his homeland, the 23-year-old said before the start of the Euro 2020:

“Why not?”

“Playing abroad is an option for me and I’m not closing the door to anything. I don’t like to speak too much about the transfer market because that concerns my agents and the Sassuolo management.”

Arsenal made their first move for Manuel Locatelli at the beginning of the transfer window. According to Sassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali, the Gunners made a concrete offer for the young Italian midfielder and were pushing hard to sign him.

Now, Arsenal’s offer has been confirmed by the agent of Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli. Fagioli has been heavily linked with a move to Sassuolo in a swap deal involving Locatelli. However, Fagiolo’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, stated no such offer has been made and that Arsenal submitted a strong offer for Locatelli. He said:

“Juventus would like to sign Locatelli and Arsenal have already offered €40million [£34.5m].”

The current situation is very sticky as the player wants a move to Turin, but is also open to the idea of playing abroad. Juventus’ offer has been turned down by Sassuolo and the Gunners are standing by and willing to pay the club’s asking price for the player.

Sassuolo pushing Juventus to their position on Locatelli

However, one worrying sign for Arsenal is that Italian players prefer playing in their country rather than making a switch to the Premier League. Yes, Jorginho is a recent exception but looking at the history of Italian players, it does suggest a move to Turin is more plausible, given the Old Lady are willing to pay €40million.

Sassuolo are in a good situation now as two big clubs are interested in signing their player but they are in no hurry to sell. The Italian club understands how valuable of a player Locatelli is, even more so after his performances in the Euro 2020. They are waiting for better offers before they can decide the player’s future.

Manuel Locatelli has all the necessary traits and talents that Arsenal require, a top player, someone who can boss the midfield area. With Granit Xhaka edging closer to a move to AS Roma and Thomas Partey failing to make an impact last season, the addition of Locatelli could certainly boost Arteta’s midfield set-up.

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Locatelli is a classy player, a proper midfielder who fights for the second ball, keeps possession in tight spaces and has a vision for goals and assists. Arsenal have made their intentions very clear regarding the Italian midfielder, while Juventus are still looking to sign him.

If the Gunners can crack a deal with Sassuolo, this could be one of the most exciting transfer deals of the summer. Arsenal are trying hard to convince the player to come to the Emirates and play in the Premier League, but his focus remains to become a Juventus player and fulfil his childhood dream.

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