Arsenal are reportedly set to rival Real Madrid and others in the race to sign Manuel Locatelli, who is valued at around €40 million by Sassuolo.
According to a report by Italian publication Tuttosport, Arsenal are in the frame to sign Manuel Locatelli in the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old Italian international is also being tailed by the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus, among others, with Sassuolo likely to demand around €40 million for him.
Locatelli first broke out at senior level in club football while with AC Milan but failed to nail down a regular spot in their first-team setup. The turning point in his career came when he joined Sassuolo on a season-long loan deal in the summer of 2018 before having his move being made permanent a year later.
To date, Locatelli has made 99 appearances for the Neroverdi while also contributing with seven goals and 11 assists. His progress at the club level has also helped the 23-year-old establish himself as a full-fledged Italian international, and he has already enjoyed a memorable campaign at UEFA Euro 2020. Surely enough, the suitors have been lining up, including Real Madrid and Arsenal.
Real Madrid are in the market for a midfielder this summer owing to the fact that Luka Modric is in the twilight of his career while Toni Kroos is gradually approaching the final phase of his playing time as well. As a result, Los Blancos need to be prepared for the time when either or both call time at the club, with Locatelli being identified as a potential target.
That he can play as a holding midfielder equally adeptly as he does as a box-to-box midfielder is a bonus for Real Madrid, who could potentially utilise him in multiple ways as a result. The Merengues, though, face stiff competition from Arsenal, who are one of several Premier League giants linked with Locatelli.
Arsenal are in a precarious situation as far as the state of their midfield unit is concerned. Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have already returned to Real Madrid after the expiration of their loan deals and are unlikely to return to the Emirates this summer. In addition, former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has been heavily linked with AS Roma and could leave this summer.
As a result, the interest in Locatelli makes a great deal of sense, although the fact that they cannot offer Champions League football could make them an unappealing destination. Meanwhile, Real Madrid and Arsenal are also facing stiff competition from Manchester City, PSG and Juventus for the 23-year-old Italian international, who reportedly has a €40 million release clause.
In fact, Juventus are already taking steps to land Locatelli ahead of the other suitors and are also working towards agreeing personal terms before UEFA Euro 2020 even ends. What now remains to be seen is if Real Madrid or Arsenal can step up their efforts to land the Italian midfielder or if he ends up going to Juventus instead.