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Manchester City: Guardiola dealt Manuel Locatelli blow

Manchester City’s hopes of signing Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli this summer have taken a blow as Arsenal now reportedly lead the race to sign the ItalY international, which suggests that Pep Guardiola’s side must act quickly if they want to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.

The Citizens have been regularly linked with the 23-year-old in recent months as a result of his superb performances for club and country and, after some excellent performances at the European Championship for Roberto Mancini’s side so far this summer, it seems as if a summer transfer is on the cards.

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Although the likes of Man City, Juventus and PSG were previously said to be the main contenders to sign the young midfielder, it has now been reported that Arsenal have bid for him and are now leading the race to sign him this summer.

Despite the lack of European football on offer at the Emirates Stadium next season, Sassuolo’s sporting director Giovanni Carnevali has claimed that Arsenal are the only club to have made a concrete offer for the £31.5m-rated Locatelli and are the leading contenders to sign him outside of Italy.

Although Fernandinho recently agreed to a new one-year deal at Manchester City, it seems likely that next season will be his last as a player in Guardiola’s squad, and the 23-year-old Locatelli could have been the ideal long-term option for City as they look for some competition for Rodri in that role for the significant future.

Last season saw the former AC Milan ace make 34 appearances in Serie A for Sassuolo, in which he contributed four goals and two assists, averaging an impressive 7.08 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

He has also been a driving force for Italy at the Euros, averaging a superb 7.46 rating from WhoScored across his three appearances thus far, and seems likely to start as Mancini’s side face Belgium in the quarter-finals tonight.

Therefore, the “complete” midfielder could be an excellent addition to Guardiola’s side this summer, although sporting director Txiki Begiristain must act quickly if he wants to bring him to the Etihad following the news that Arsenal have already made an offer for him.

In other news… City not prepared to give up on teenage wonderkid

Article title: Manchester City: Guardiola dealt Manuel Locatelli blow

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