Arsenal will try a second time to sign Italy international Manuel Locatelli, and why they’re far likelier to succeed this time around has been revealed.
The Gunners were one of a number of clubs suitably impressed with Manuel Locatelli at Euro 2020. The central midfielder shone in the delayed tournament that took place in 2021, starting two matches and appearing off the bench in three.
Italy would go on to win that competition after sinking England on penalties at Wembley. In the immediate aftermath of the tournament, Arsenal pushed to sign the then Sassuolo star.
However, it was Juventus who would win the race, acquiring Locatelli on an initial two-year loan.
An obligation to buy was agreed that would trigger at the conclusion of the loan period in 2023. Juventus are on the hook for €25m payable over three years, plus €12.5m in potential add-ons.
Locatelli is just over half way into his two-year loan, though all is not well in Turin.
Juventus have started the season in shambolic fashion and sit ninth after their first seven Serie A matches.
Just two league wins have been registered, while they also tasted defeat in both Champions League group stage ties with PSG and Benfica.
Juventus turmoil, Allegri decision sparks Locatelli chance
Manager Max Allegri is already feeling the heat, and per Calciomercato, he does not fancy Locatelli.
They report the 24-year-old has not ‘convinced’ Juventus and Allegri has already decided to utilise him as a mere back-up moving forward.
In turn, that’s reportedly opened the door for Arsenal to pursue a deal they first explored over one year ago.
It’s stated the Gunners are ‘relaunching’ their interest in Locatelli, though stop short of saying whether they’ll target a January of summer move.
However, Fabrizio Romano recently reported central midfield is one of two areas Arsenal want to address in January.
The other is on the wing, and reinforcements could be the order of the day to ensure their bright start doesn’t go to waste after the World Cup.
Who else have Arsenal eyed?
Locatelli had started Juve’s first five league matches this season. However, he missed their latest two along with the UCL defeat to Benfica through injury. Juventus’ record over that three-game span stands at one draw and two defeats.
Arsenal were heavily linked with new arrivals in the engine room throughout the summer.
Youri Tielemans was on their radar, though a bid was never lodged. Instead, multiple offers were tabled for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
Steven Gerrard stood firm over the Brazilian who will be a free agent next summer. That is a deal that could be refreshed by Arsenal either in January or nine months from now.
For now at least, it appears Locatelli is another option too.
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