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Arsenal eye Locatelli but Juventus lead the way for Italy star

12:02 BST 01/07/2021
Manuel Locatelli, Arsenal & Juventus badges
Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali had stated that the Gunners had made an official offer for the Italy midfielder

Arsenal are interested in signing Italy star Manuel Locatelli - but have not made a bid for the midfielder.

Locatelli has been one of the breakout stars of Euro 2020, producing some eye-catching displays in the heart of midfield for the Italians.

And his performances have seen him linked with a big money move this summer, with his current club Sassuolo open to letting him leave for the right price.

What’s the latest?

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday, Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali stated that Arsenal had made an official bid for Locatelli, who is wanted by Juventus.

“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli," Carnevali said. "They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid. We will see.

"Also Juventus want Locatelli and we’ve a special relationship with them. We’ve a new meeting scheduled with Juve.

“We are trying to leave the lad calm, so I haven’t spoken to him or his agents yet. We can think about Locatelli’s future, but above all we care about his present and that means Italy doing well at the Euros."

What do we know?

Sources at Arsenal have told Goal that the Gunners have not made any official bid for the 23-year-old.

There has been talks between the clubs over the midfielder, however, and a move this window has not been ruled out - but Arsenal are aware that Juventus are clearly leading the race for Locatelli.

There is a feeling that Sassuolo are using Arsenal’s name in public to prompt Juventus into meeting their demands for the midfielder, who they value at around £34m ($47m).

Why do Arsenal want Locatelli?

With Grant Xhaka expected to complete a move to Roma after Euro 2020, Arsenal are looking for a new central midfielder to partner Thomas Partey.

A deal is close with Anderlecht for Albert Lokonga, but the 21-year-old is viewed as a player for the future and Arsenal are wary about throwing him straight into the demands of the Premier League given his age.

As a result, they are also looking for a more experienced midfielder who has played in one of Europe’s top leagues, with Locatelli one of the targets on their list.

Ruben Neves is another, with Wolves potentially open to selling the Portugal international this summer.

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