Arsenal have reportedly made a formal bid for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, but the Italy international would prefer a move to Juventus.
The 23-year-old shone for the Azzurri with a brace against Switzerland during the group stages at Euro 2020, and looks certain to leave his club this summer.
Juventus have long been linked with the playmaker, and Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Turin club have decided to meet Sassuolo’s €40 million (£34m) demands after returning coach Massimiliano Allegri requested the player.
Arsenal entered the equation by tabling a bid for Locatelli over the last few days, but the midfielder is determined to join Juve.
The outlet says that Gunners directors have so far failed in efforts to get in touch with Locatelli, who wants to pounce on his chance to play for one of the biggest teams in Serie A.
The Juventus-Locatelli saga has been dragging on for quite some time now, so it’s no surprise to see another side come in and test the water – especially after his Euro 2020 showing.
Sassuolo will probably be delighted with the timing of Locatelli’s good form at a major tournament, as it gives them a chance to stand firm on their valuation and not accept reductions or part-exchange deals unless it suits them.
He was never going to stay at Sassuolo for long once coach Roberto De Zerbi, who has been instrumental in turning Locatelli into the player he has become over the last three years, left for Shakhtar Donetsk this summer.
But if Juventus want Locatelli and Locatelli wants Juventus, it seems there is little more Arsenal can do than make their intentions known and hope for the best.
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