Arsenal are said to be leading the race to sign Manuel Locatelli in this transfer window…
That’s according to Sassuolo sporting director Giovanni Carnevali, who confirmed that the Gunners have held talks with the Serie A outfit over a potential move for the midfielder, as per Sky in Italy.
He explained: “There is interest from their side, we haven’t explored all the terms and evaluations, but we have an excellent relationship with Juventus so we will continue these talks.
“It’s true that other clubs from abroad are interested, Arsenal are one of these and they are ahead of everyone else because they tabled the only concrete offer we have received so far.”
Locatelli’s asking price is believed to be in the region of €40m (£36m).
The 23-year-old is currently at Euro 2020, where he has excelled under Roberto Mancini for Italy. Heading into their quarter-final clash with Belgium tonight, Locatelli has picked up his 13th cap by featuring in three of their four games thus far, in which he has found the net twice, via Transfermarkt.
Only three other players have managed a better average rating than his 7.46, as per WhoScored figures, and that merely continues on from his fine season in the Italian top -flight.
Again, only international teammate Domenico Berardi outranked the £36m-rated Locatelli in Sassuolo’s 2020/21 season, whilst he topped the charts for tackles per match (2.4) and wasn’t far behind for interceptions (1.5 per game), shots (1.2) and key passes (1.1), via WhoScored.
This suggests that the 6 foot 1 beast is an impressive box-to-box midfielder, so it should come as no surprise to see him described as a “real dominator” in the engine room, as well as being dubbed “complete” by Eurosport Italy journalist Carlofillipo Vardelli.
The Gunners are also thought to be closing in on the signing of Brighton centre-back Ben White as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his backline following the departure of David Luiz, on top of last season’s disappointing finish.
If sporting director Edu Gaspar can secure both White and Locatelli, then he will certainly give the Emirates Stadium faithful something to shout about, especially with crowds expected to return to full capacity.
Securing both players would be phenomenal business and the sort of double coup which can bring excitement back to north London to get the club rocking once again.