Juventus are close to sealing the signing of Sassuolo midfielder and Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli after appearing to have beaten Premier League club Arsenal against the 23-year-old.
Locatelli started his career with AC Milan but has impressed with Sassuolo since joining them and enduring at Euro 2020 when he started Italy’s first two group matches in place of Marco Verratti, who was still recovering from injury at the time.
Arsenal have kept an eye on Locatelli as part of their plans for a major squad audit. Still wanting another midfielder in addition to the current capture of Albert Sambi Lokonga, it has already been reported that the Gunners were willing to face Sassuolo’s 40 million euros.
But the player’s preference for Juventus was known and Arsenal agreed to take an official approach until they knew more about any development concerning Juve’s interest.
Locatelli impressed with Italy at Euro 2020 this summer / Claudio Villa / Getty Images
Juve originally wanted to agree on a loan with a contingent purchase debt of 30 million euros next summer, but Sassuolo have decided to get 40 million euros in a direct permanent transfer.
Now is the time for compromise and Corriere dello Sport writes that the two clubs are working for a comfortable solution that makes it possible for a business to move forward. The most important part of that is said to be Juve’s willingness to include a player in the partial exchange and Sassuolo’s readiness to accept it.
Sassuolo is said to be hoping to get either Nicolo Fagioli or Nicolo Rovella, both young Italians. The former played twice for Juve’s first team last season and is a U21 international, while the latter is currently halfway through a two-year loan in Genoa that would need to be cut.
Romanian defender Radu Dragusin could be another option for Sassuolo. The 19-year-old midfielder has been at Juve since 2018 and played four first-team matches last season.
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