Arsenal look set to LOSE race for Italy’s Euro 2020-winning midfielder Manuel Locatelli as talks with his ‘preferred choice’ Juventus continue after their opening £25m bid was rejected
- Arsenal look likely to miss out on Italian Euro 2020 winner Manuel Locatelli
- Juventus are also in the race for Locatelli and have had their first bid rejected
- The 23-year-old has stated a preference for joining Juventus from Sassuolo
Arsenal look increasingly likely to miss out on key target Manuel Locatelli after rivals Juventus had their first bid rejected by the midfielder’s Serie A club Sassuolo.
Locatelli has caught the eye of several top-flight clubs after starring in Italy’s championship-winning Euro 2020 campaign.
Locatelli scored two goals in his five games at the tournament but did experience a low moment when he missed his penalty in the shootout victory against Spain in the semi-finals.
Arsenal look increasingly likely to lose out on signing Manuel Locatelli (centre) to Juventus
Mikel Arteta has identified Locatelli as a key target but the midfielder is said to prefer Juve
The Gunners and the Old Lady have emerged as the front-runners for Locatelli’s signature.
Juventus reportedly offered Sassuolo an initial loan deal, with an obligation to buy the 23-year-old for €30million (£25m), but this has been rejected. Sassuolo are however continuing talks with Juve as they are believed to be the player’s preferred choice.
Arsenal are said to have tabled their own bid worth €45m (£38.5m), but in a severe blow to their prospects, Locatelli has already suggested his first choice would be to join Juventus.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia about his future following Euro 2020, Locatelli said: ‘Up until now, I haven’t really thought about it, I couldn’t.
The Sassuolo man admitted it is ‘pleasing’ to be wanted by Juventus and is in talks with them
‘The interest of Juventus is pleasing, they are a great team and I have said it several times.’
Sassuolo are reported to be guided by Locatelli’s wishes and are holding out for the £38.5m from Juventus that Arsenal have offered. Negotiations remain ongoing between the two Italian clubs.
Should Arsenal miss out on Locatelli, they could turn to other targets they have been linked to including Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.