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Arsenal & Juventus-linked Locatelli responds to transfer 'gossip' after starring for Italy at Euro 2020

5:28 AM EDT 6/18/21
Manuel Locatelli Italy Czech Republic
The 23-year-old Sassuolo midfielder has been catching the eye on international duty, but he is reluctant to be drawn on future plans

Manuel Locatelli is said to be attracting interest from across Europe, with Arsenal among his many suitors, but the Sassuolo midfielder is reluctant to be drawn on the "gossip" surrounding his future.

The 23-year-old's stock continues to rise at Euro 2020, with the Italy international catching the eye for an impressive Azzurri side - with two goals recorded on his last outing against Switzerland.

Goal was able to confirm back in April that Juventus are mulling over a move, with Arsenal and Manchester City said to be keen in England, but Locatelli will not be rushing into any decision regarding a possible transfer.

What has been said?

Locatelli told reporters when quizzed on the speculation he is generating: "[The transfer rumours are] just talk. I will decide after the European Championship.

"There's such an important competition to play in, and I'm only focused on this.

"I rely on what happens on the pitch, the real things, everything else is just gossip, it's useless to talk about it."

He added: "When you're involved in such an important competition, you're only focused on the task in hand.

"We see the kids in the street when we travel to our games waving flags, so it's quite easy to stay focused on the match.

"I'm focused on what happens on the pitch because that's what is real. Everything else is just gossip and there's no point worrying about it."

The bigger picture

Reports have suggested that a bid of around £34 million ($47m) could be enough to secure Locatelli's signature, although that asking price will continue to rise if he puts Italy in contention for European Championship glory.

While no decision on a potential change of scenery will be made any time soon, the highly-rated performer has hinted that a move away from Serie A could appeal to him.

Locatelli has said: "Playing abroad is an option for me and at the moment I’m not excluding anything. It’s part of my job and it means that I have raised my level."

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