A busy summer of transfer activity could be in the offing for Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta this forthcoming summer.
After failing to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United towards the top of the Premier League table this season, the Gunners are in need of fresh reinforcements this summer in their hope of bridging the gap.
As reported by football.london earlier this week, the Gunners have earmarked four positions that they wish to strengthen most this summer, including both left-back and central attacking-midfield.
Arsenal, who face Slavia Prague in the second-leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final this evening, were desperate to add a new left-back to their ranks in January but were unsuccessful in their efforts, despite being linked with moves for Crystal Palace star Patrick van Aanholt and Ryan Bertrand of Southampton.
As far as the attacking-midfield role goes, the Gunners landed Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the season back in January, but it is currently unclear if he will return to north London next season, either in another loan deal or on a permanent transfer.
With that in mind, the Gunners may have to look elsewhere to discover their long-term successor for Mesut Ozil.
In recent weeks and months, Arsenal have been closely linked with the likes of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish and Houssem Aouar of Lyon in an attempt to bolster their attacking midfield options, but high asking prices are likely to price them out of deals this summer.
Instead, though, they could turn to former target Manuel Locatelli, who is currently on the books of Sassuolo. The 23-year-old was earmarked as a target back in 2016 when he was at the tender age of just 18-years-old whilst on the books of AC Milan.
According to a report by Goal, Arsenal had been scouting the Italian for some time and had made contact about trying to get a deal completed to bring him to north London.
However, no deal ever materialised and he spent three years climbing his way up the ladder at the San Siro before joining Sassuolo.
Now, five years on from when the Gunners were interested in him, the attacking midfielder has revealed that he believes he is ready to make the step up to a “top club,” as well as refusing to rule out the prospect of moving abroad to test himself.
Speaking to CorSport concerning reports linking Manchester City with a move for his services, he said: “I feel ready for a top club and also joining a foreign club is a potential option for me, why not?
“When there are opportunities, I will think about my future.”
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With that said, it is clear that Locatelli is open to leaving Sassuolo at some stage and testing himself in a different environment. Should that be the case, it could prompt Arsenal to reignite their interest in him.
It is claimed that Juventus are trying to land the midfielder, meaning he has done enough to attract the attention of one of Italy’s top clubs.
According to the latest data provided, Locatelli is valued at £31.5million, meaning his signature would not come cheaply.
However, it is likely that he would be a cheaper option than Odegaard, Grealish and Aouar this summer.