Juventus Identify Italian Midfielder as Pogba Alternative

Paul Pogba spent the best part of the last decade switching allegiance between Manchester United and Juventus. And although the Frenchman is once again being strongly tipped to make his grand return to Turin, this type of mega-money transfer is always highly complicated, especially during the current economical crisis. Thus, Juventus must keep some alternatives in mind, and Manuel Locatelli is apparently chief among them.

According to Calciomercato, Pogba remains the clear favorite for the Bianconeri hierarchy, however, if they are unable to work out a deal with the Red Devils, than the Italian champions will turn their attention towards Locatelli who is now being considered as one of Italy’s rising stars.

The report claims that a deal is unlikely in January, as Sassuolo – who are enjoying a successful campaign so far – wouldn’t be tempted into parting ways with their best midfielder in the middle of the season, however, a deal might be reachable during the summer transfer market.

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Juve’s interest in Manuel Locatelli is not exactly new, as the Turin based club have probably kept an eye on the Milan youth product ever since he rocked Gianluigi Buffon’s net with a thunderous winner at the San Siro in 2016.

The Sassuolo man has been rapidly developing under the guidance of Roberto De Zerbi, and has recently become a regular starter for Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad.

Although Locatelli doesn’t possess the incredible skill-set of Paul Pogba, but the Azzurri midfielder could be an upgrade on some of the current Juventus midfielders, including Rodrigo Bentancur who’s development has stalled recently, as will as the inconsistent Adrien Rabiot.

Juventus were able to successfully regalvanize their midfield during the summer with Weston Mckennie and Arthur Melo proving to be an upgrade on the tired legs of Blaise Matuidi and Miralem Pjanić, and Locatelli might just be the final piece needed in Andrea Pirlo’s midfield jigsaw.