Juventus close in on Manuel Locatelli signing

Max Cooper
Locatelli is close to joining Juventus
Locatelli is close to joining Juventus / Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Juventus are set to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, with a deal worth around €35m plus bonuses nearing completion.

The 23-year-old has been at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between Juventus and the rest of Europe this summer, after he announced himself on the world stage with some eye-catching displays in the opening rounds of Euro 2020.

Arsenal were interested in snatching Locatelli from the Neroverdi, who demanded a fee of €40m for their midfield talisman. But the Corriere dello Sport reports that Juventus have won the race to sign the former Milan man, and the two sides should agree on a fee when they meet for a third time on Thursday.

Until now, the Bianconeri have offered €35m for the central midfielder, but Sassuolo are holding out for the originally quoted price. However, they are prepared to accept Juve's terms of a multi-year loan deal with an obligation to buy at the end.

And Juve will be forced to pay €35m plus bonuses to land their man, who will slot straight into Massimiliano Allegri's midfield for the 2021/22 campaign.

Locatelli has long wanted the move to Turin, and his desire to play for the Italian giants was the major factor behind Arsenal's failed attempt to lure him to the Premier League. The Euro 2020 winner rejected the Gunners' advances, indicating that he was only interested in a move to Juve.

The Bianconeri midfield has been missing that key ingredient in the centre of the pitch for a couple of years, and their failure to strengthen vital areas culminated in them surrendering their Serie A crown and only just scraping Champions League qualification last year.

Manuel Locatelli
Locatelli impressed in Italy's glorious Euro 2020 campaign / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

But they believe Locatelli is the man to fire them back to the top of the table, after his impressive showing at Euro 2020 proved he is ready for elite level football. The Sassuolo star scored twice in five appearances at the summer tournament, helping Italy win the competition in London.