Report: Juventus Well Ahead of Arsenal in Transfer Race for Italian Metronome

In-demand Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli has made up his mind on his future amid growing interest from Juventus and Arsenal. Famous journalist Fabrizio Romano insists the Italian is ready to turn down a foreign approach to secure a move to Turin as the transfer looks imminent.

There’s no doubt that Locatelli is one of the hottest properties on the market, with a host of Europe’s top sides inquiring about his availability. Juventus are front-runners in the race for the Italian metronome’s signature, though Arsenal and most recently Tottenham are looking to hijack their move for the Sassuolo up-and-comer.

Newly-appointed Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri is a big-time admirer of Locatelli and wants to make him central to his rebuilding project at the Allianz Arena. The Italian manager is also keen on recruiting Paul Pogba, but the path leading to the Manchester United superstar is rather tumultuous. 

Locatelli enjoyed an astonishing Euro 2020 group stage campaign, with his brace against Switzerland on Matchday 2 illustrating how talismanic he can be when surrounded by the top players. Though Sassuolo initially asked for €40million to green-light the midfielder’s departure, they are likely to increase their demands, particularly in light of Locatelli’s jaw-dropping displays at the Euros.

Meanwhile, Juventus remain confident of landing the super-talented 23-year-old, even though Arsenal recently stepped up their pursuit of the Milan youth academy product. The Gunners have reportedly tabled an official bid for Locatelli, but the player’s desire to stay in his homeland is likely to hand their hopes of completing the move a huge upset.

Speaking on his Twitch account, Romano has pinpointed the player’s stance on foreign interest, giving Juventus an upper hand in a potential transfer tag-of-war.

I see Locatelli as one of the players moving this summer because he’s going to leave Sassuolo,” he said. “Juventus are leading the race, but Arsenal are really interested in Manuel. As I said, they made a bid, Sassuolo said it’s true, it’s confirmed. But they are waiting now.

The player wants to go to Juventus. Arsenal are saying, ‘We wait.’ They respect Locatelli because Juventus are playing Champions League and it’s normal for Juventus to be a dream for Italian guys.

But if Juventus are not finding an agreement with Sassuolo, they are ready to jump in and sign Locatelli. If the player wants to go to Juventus, let’s see what happens with Juventus. But if not, Arsenal are there, and they are working also on [Albert Sambi] Lokonga.