Juventus remain the front-runner to sign Manuel Locatelli, but Arsenal are in the race and could capitalise on the Serie A side’s hesitance.

Bologna, Italy, 4th June 2021. Manuel Locatelli of Italy during the warm-up prior to the International Football Friendly match at Stadio Dall Ara, Bologna. Picture: Jonathan Moscrop / Sportimage
Bologna, Italy, 4th June 2021. Manuel Locatelli of Italy during the warm-up prior to the International Football Friendly match at Stadio Dall Ara, Bologna. Picture: Jonathan Moscrop / Sportimage

Earlier this week, The Athletic reported that Arsenal were among the clubs to enquire after Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli. At the time, they added that the player was more likely to join Juventus.

Unfortunately, this still appears to be the case. Sport Mediaset report that Juventus remain in pole position, but Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have also made contact recently.

The one advantage Arsenal might have is that Sassuolo won’t consider a swap deal or a discount to allow Juventus to complete the transfer. They want €40m, and it appears the Gunners would be ready to offer that, whilst Juventus are hoping for a swap.

Arsenal are likely still the least appealing option to Locatelli himself right now. Playing for Juventus means remaining in Italy and competing in the Champions League, two things he might prefer to the alternative with the Gunners.

But if Juventus won’t meet Sassuolo’s demands and Arsenal will, perhaps that’s the one way Locatelli might end up considering a move overseas.

Reports of Arsenal’s interest in Locatelli pre-date the European Championships, though they’ve certainly been enhanced by his impressive showings at the tournament. The 23-year-old midfielder has scored two goals in his three appearances so far.

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