Juventus are close to sealing the signing of Sassuolo midfielder and Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli after seemingly beating Premier League club Arsenal to the 23-year-old.
Locatelli started his career with AC Milan but has impressed with Sassuolo since joining them and stood out 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 been keeping an eye on Locatelli as part of their plans for a major squad overhaul. Still wanting another midfielder in addition to the existing capture of Albert Sambi Lokonga, it has already been reported that the Gunners were willing to meet Sassuolo’s €40m asking price.
However, the player’s preference for Juventus was known and Arsenal were holding off making an official approach until they knew more about any developments regarding Juve’s interest.
Juve initially wanted to agree a loan with a conditional obligation to buy for €30m next summer, but Sassuolo have been determined to get €40m in an outright permanent transfer.
Now comes the time for compromise and Corriere dello Sport writes that the two clubs are working towards an agreeable solution that will allow a deal to go ahead. The key part of that is said to be Juve’s willingness to include a player in part-exchange and Sassuolo’s readiness to accept it.
Sassuolo are 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 an Under-21 international, while the latter is currently midway through a two-year loan at Genoa that would have to be cut short.
Romanian defender Radu Dragusin could be another option for Sassuolo. The 19-year-old centre-back has been at Juve since 2018 and made four first-team appearances last season.