Juventus and Sassuolo Stuck in Talks for Manuel Locatelli

Negotiations between Juventus and Sassuolo over prodigious midfielder Manuel Locatelli have reportedly reached an impasse. Gazzetta dello Sport (via TuttoJuve) reports that the clubs have yet to make a breakthrough in talks for the Euro 2020 winner to join the Turin-based side.

Locatelli is thought to have informed the Neroverdi of his decision to link up with Juventus this summer. The 23-year-old midfielder has already turned down the prospect of joining Arsenal, even though the Gunners have agreed to match Sassuolo’s asking price in the region of €40million.

Arsenal and Liverpool remain in the race to sign the Italian midfield metronome as Juventus continue to insist on their valuation of the player. On the other hand, Sassuolo seem to be sticking to their guns and won’t allow Locatelli to move to the Allianz Stadium unless the Bianconeri meet their demands. 

The agreement is far away, which opens the door for foreign sides to swoop in and take the ex-Milan youngster away from Serie A. Meanwhile, Juventus have already laid the groundwork for Miralem Pjanic’s return as they look set to clinch a deal with Barcelona in the coming days. The Bosnian is hell-bent on securing an exit route from Camp Nou following an underwhelming season under Ronald Koeman.

According to various reports, Barcelona’s financial situation is likely to force them to give up Pjanic for a symbolic transfer fee or even ship him out on a free transfer. The Catalans need to reduce the ballooning wage bill by offloading fringe players to comply with La Liga’s financial fair play rules. 

So the Italian heavyweights remain hopeful of landing Pjanic on a two-year loan deal. The 31-year-old’s return would not affect Juventus’ pursuit of Locatelli. However, the record-time Serie A champions will have to level up their bid if they are to convince Sassuolo to hand them over one of their gems.