Journalist Fabrizio Romano has recently talked about Arsenal’s interest in signing Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
Sassuolo chief executive Giovanni Carnevali had recently stated that Arsenal have made an offer for Locatelli, but he has also made interest from Juventus public, claiming that talks between the Bianconeri and the Neroverdi will take place soon.
Romano talked about Arsenal’s chase of Locatelli when he appeared on the latest episode of the EyetoEye podcast. He stated that Sassuolo’s public stance about Arsenal’s interest isn’t aimed at increasing Locatelli’s value and the ex-Milan man wants to join Juventus this summer.
Can Arsenal sign Locatelli?
The journalist said: “I think they don’t need to drive the price up because the player is showing his skills and if they want to ask for £50 or £60 million instead of £40 million, they can do it because Locatelli is amazing and they don’t need to put names of other clubs to do it.
“It’s true that Arsenal have an interest and they want Locatelli, they consider Locatelli as a perfect player for the Premier League and I personally agree because I think he could be a great addition for Arsenal and in general for Premier League clubs because he’s perfect to play in England with his game style, with his mentality, his skills – it’s perfect to play in the Premier League.
“But it is also true that Arsenal know that the player’s priority is to join Juventus. So Manuel Locatelli wants to join Juventus because he’s Italian. Because his family has always been close to Juventus and supporting Juventus. Because they play the Champions League and Champions League is something really important for young players, they want to make this kind of step. That’s why it’s not easy to convince Locatelli to change his mind.”
TIF Thoughts on Locatelli…
Given Juventus appear to be favourites for Locatelli, it is interesting that Romano stopped short of completely ruling out a move from Arsenal for the Italian.
According to FBRef, Locatelli is stylistically similar to the likes of Rodri, Marcelo Brozovic, Youri Tielemans and Thiago Alcantara. It suggests that he’s someone who thrives on progressing the ball forward and often breaking play up in midfield.
Granit Xhaka, who could be heading to Roma, is also a midfielder who is highly progressive – even though he isn’t statistically great at breaking up play. This suggests that Locatelli could well be an upgrade on the Swiss midfielder.
The fact that Locatelli has starred at Euro 2020 may only increase his value in Sassuolo’s eyes and keeping that in mind, he might not be a player that Arsenal would be able to sign.