Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli has caught the attention of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’, say reports, but the Italian side might raise their price tag after his standout Euro 2020 displays.
The 23-year-old put in a man of the match performance against Switzerland in Rome on Wednesday, scoring superb goals either side of the break to send the Azzurri on their way to a 3-0 win.
Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano then reported that top Premier League clubs are interested in securing Locatelli’s services this summer.
However, he added that they face competition from Juventus and suggested that Sassuolo might raise their original demand of €40 million following his standout display.
Locatelli is widely expected to move on from the Neroverdi this summer following the departure of influential coach Roberto De Zerbi to Shakhtar Donetsk.
De Zerbi played a big role in overseeing Locatelli’s rapid development at the Reggio Emilia club over the last three seasons, since he arrived from AC Milan.
He was one of the best young midfielders in Italy last season, scoring four goals and providing three assists in 34 Serie A appearances to help Sassuolo finish eighth.
Speculation linking him to Juventus was rife before Euro 2020, as returning coach Massimiliano Allegri is a fan and the Turin club’s midfield is in need of refreshment.
But interest from England could change things, with no move likely to occur until the Euros are finished.
Arsenal have previously been linked with the Italy international, and a spot in their midfield looks set to open up if Granit Xhaka completes his anticipated move to Roma.
Despite what the Switzerland game suggested, Locatelli is not know for his goals.
He has scored seven in 99 games for Sassuolo and two in 63 appearances for Milan, and Wednesday’s brace was the first of his career.
But his technical quality, passing range and positional awareness are his standout attributes and it will be no surprise to see his list of suitors grow over the next few weeks if he continues this form throughout the Euros.
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