Arsenal insider Charles Watts has provided an update on the club’s pursuit of Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
The 23-year-old, was one of the breakout stars for the Italians during this summer’s European Championship, scoring twice to help Italy get out of the group stages on their way to triumph at Wembley on Sunday night.
Arsenal were reportedly one of the teams that were showing an interest in signing him before the tournament began (Sky Sport Italia, via Football Italia), but it looks as if his performances have also managed to catch the eyes of other clubs, with reports suggesting that Juventus are in talks with his current club over his signature.
And speaking on his show, Watts suggested that Arsenal weren’t in any position to make a bid for him just yet, and seemed to be patiently waiting to see how things developed abroad before making a move:
“Lots of talk over in Italy that Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli. As far as I’m aware from people that I’ve spoken to at Arsenal, they’re saying that’s not the case. There has been no official bid submitted, but whether they’ve kind of crossed wires here in terms of what Arsenal said during their conversation to Sassuolo, what they would be willing to pay for him, I don’t know.
“But from Arsenal’s point of view, people I’ve spoken to, they’re still saying there hasn’t been an official bid and they’re just sort of playing a waiting game when it comes to Locatelli.
“He is a player they’re interested in, it’s not something that they’ve ruled out doing if the possibility arises, but they are very aware that Juventus are in pole position when it comes to signing Locatelli this summer.”
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about Manuel Locatelli and Arsenal…
Can Arsenal sign Locatelli?
With Locatelli recently stating how much he would like to make a move to Juventus, it does seem very unlikely at this point that Arsenal would be able to capture him and it would probably take some minor miracle in order to make him turn his head towards London rather than Turin.
They would be better off not even playing the waiting game with him and just moving on completely to other potential targets, just chalk this up as a loss and learn their lesson that they need to get their business done earlier in future – something they also should have learned in the Emiliano Buendía saga.