Liverpool have reportedly made their opening move in pursuit of Manuel Locatelli, having begun discussions with Sassuolo for the 23-year-old.
According to reputed Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur, Liverpool have opened talks with Sassuolo to sign Manuel Locatelli in the summer transfer window. The Premier League heavyweights are hoping to make an offer that would convince the Italian outfit to sell the 23-year-old to them this month.
Manuel Locatelli has taken his career to new heights since joining Sassuolo from AC Milan. Signed on loan initially in the summer of 2018 before he joined the Serie A club permanently, the young midfielder has been nothing short of excellent at the Mapei Stadium. To date, has turned out 99 times for the Neroverdi, chipping in with seven goals and 11 assists along the way.
However, it is not just at club level that Locatelli has impressed, having also become a regular for the Italian national side. In fact, the 23-year-old was among the key contributors as the Azzurri won the UEFA Euro 2020. His exploits have paved the way for a bevy of suitors to emerge in his pursuit, with Liverpool the latest club to have shown an interest in him.
The Reds have been scouring the transfer market for a midfielder this summer following the exit of Georginio Wijnaldum as a free agent. Add to it the fact that Naby Keita is reportedly up for sale, that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been inconsistent since his return from a long-term injury and that James Milner is in the twilight of his career, and it is clear why Liverpool want to bolster their midfield.
To that end, the Premier League heavyweights have been linked with several midfielders, pretty much since the turn of the year, with Eduardo Camavinga, Houssem Aouar and Saul Niguez among their targets. The latest name on their shortlist is Locatelli, and he is certainly a viable target.
The 23-year-old Italian international would be a like-for-like replacement for Wijnaldum, in that he is capable of playing at the base of a three-man midfielder as well as a no. 8. And Liverpool are now hoping to usurp their rivals in pursuit of Locatelli, who has been heavily linked with Arsenal and Juventus this summer.
The Merseyside giants have opened talks with Sassuolo over a possible move and are hoping to submit an offer that could tempt them to sell the player to them. With Juventus, who are Locatelli’s preferred destination, unable to reach an agreement over a deal so far, the ball is certainly in Liverpool’s court.
The youngster’s valuation has been reported to be in the region of €40 million and it will be interesting to see if Liverpool are willing to match such a valuation. For now, Liverpool have made their first move for Locatelli and it remains to be seen if they are able to land him this summer.