This would have been excellent business for Arsenal, but it’s not looking good.
Earlier in the summer, it was reported that Arsenal were in for Italy’s Manuel Locatelli, and that the player was seemingly interested in a move to London.
However, this deal seems to be becoming less and less likely as the days go on, with the player inching closer to a move to Juventus.
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth said that despite what was claimed by Sassuolo’s Chief Executive Giovanni Carnevali, Arsenal did not ever make a concrete bid for the midfielder, and that this was part of a plan to increase Juventus’ bid.
He said: “It’s our understanding that no bid has gone in. There has been an interest, but no bid at all. The suspicion is that Carnevali is using Arsenal to maybe nudge to up their offer.
“The two clubs – Juventus and Sassuolo – share a very good relationship, and I think Sassuolo want to keep Juventus sweet, in case in the future they want to bring in players from that club.”
📰 Arsenal have not made any concrete offer for midfielder Manuel Locatelli. There is a suspicion Sassuolo have said this to nudge Juventus into upping their offer for the player
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 5, 2021
Manuel Locatelli likely to join Juventus
While Juve were believed to be stalling over the asking price, the club are now open to matching Sassuolo’s €40m asking price, initially signing the player on loan with an obligation to buy.
This apparent change of heart from Juve could be largely due to Locatelli’s excellent performances at Euro 2020, particularly his masterclass against Switzerland. The midfielder scored a gorgeous brace, with his first goal arguably being one of the goals of the tournament so far.
Meanwhile, Sportwitness have gone as far as to report that Locatelli is “ghosting” Arsenal, as the player would rather remain in Italy and go to Juventus.
Since Marco Verratti’s return to fitness, Locatelli has been resigned to the bench for Italy, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Roberto Mancini unleashed a fresh, fit version of the midfielder against Spain on Tuesday night.