Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly requested the club to make a move for US Sassuolo’s Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli in the summer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid could be plotting a raid on Serie A side Sassuolo in the upcoming transfer window for the transfer of midfielder Manuel Locatelli at the behest of newly-appointed manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Real Madrid brought Ancelotti back at the helm following Zinedine Zidane’s exit from the managerial hot-seat at the end of the 2020/21 season. Having returned to the Santiago Bernabeu, the Italian tactician is keen on building a squad in his own image, as he looks to lead Los Blancos to silverware after a rare season without a single trophy.
To that end, Ancelotti has been credited with an interest in some of the players at clubs he has worked with in the past, like Everton’s Richarlison and Hirving Lozano from Napoli. Now, the Real Madrid boss has reportedly asked the club to move for Sassuolo’s Italian midfielder Locatelli, a player that he has not managed in the past but is said to be a huge admirer of.
Locatelli came through the ranks at Ancelotti’s former club AC Milan but could not establish a foothold in the first-team. After 63 appearances for the Rossoneri, the 23-year-old moved to Sassuolo in 2018, initially on loan, before the transfer was made permanent a year later. Since the switch, the midfielder has grown into one of the most reliable and consistent performers in his position in Serie A.
As a result, Locatelli has also been able to break into the Italian national team, racking up 10 caps for the Azzurri and is a part of the roster for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020. And, the 23-year-old’s rise to prominence in Italy has earned him an admirer in the form of Ancelotti, who is now keen on bringing his fellow countryman to Real Madrid.
Given the circumstances, Real Madrid could certainly use a new central midfielder. Luka Modric, at 35, is in the final phase of his illustrious career while Toni Kroos is also into his thirties and will need his game-time managed going forward. The same goes for Casemiro as well, with Los Blancos having no cover whatsoever in the defensive midfield position, meaning the Brazilian has had to play relentlessly, week after week.
So, signing someone like Locatelli, who is adept at playing as a No. 6 but can operate in a slightly advanced role as well, would be a smart move for Real Madrid. However, the Merengues could face competition for the signing of the Italian international with Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus all interested in his services.
It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid press ahead with their interest in Locatelli, whose contract with Sassuolo runs till 2023, or move for different options with another former AC Milan midfielder in Lucas Paqueta on the club’s radar.