Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly keen on signing 23-year-old Italian international Manuel Locatelli, also a target for Real Madrid.

According to a report by Transfer Market Web, the race to sign Manuel Locatelli in the summer transfer window is intensifying. The 23-year-old Italian international is being tailed by the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, with Sassuolo resigned to losing him.

Locatelli has established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Serie A since joining Sassuolo from AC Milan. Initially signed on loan in the summer of 2018, the player made such a solid impression the Neroverdi ended up signing him permanently a year later.

Since then, the 23-year-old has been a mainstay in midfield for the Serie A outfit, and has gone on to amass 99 appearances till date for them, while also chipping in with 7 goals and 11 assists. But, heading into the summer transfer window, Sassuolo are in a precarious position, with the Italian international being courted by Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and others.

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The interest from Real Madrid makes a great deal of sense, seeing as Casemiro has no natural backup for him in the first-team squad. In addition, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric well into their thirties, it is prudent to bolster the midfield, which means Locatelli is a viable target, considering he can also play as a box-to-box midfielder.

As for Chelsea, their eagerness to sign Locatelli is a bit perplexing, as Thomas Tuchel already has a solid midfield unit comprising of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, with young Billy Gilmour waiting in the wings. However, the 23-year-old could be an option worth considering in the off chance that Jorginho moves away this summer.

Manchester City, meanwhile, would be well served to be searching for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, even though he is set to stay on for another year at the very least. To that end, Declan Rice, who is also a target for Chelsea, is among the holding midfielders linked with the Citizens, with Locatelli possibly being a cheaper alternative.

In addition to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on signing Locatelli. In fact, PSG as well a the two Premier League giants have already made an offer for the Italian international, meaning Real Madrid will need to step up in order to prise him away from Sassuolo. For now, the race to sign Locatelli is heating up.

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