How Liverpool can help Arsenal and Edu secure £34m Manuel Locatelli transfer

Sassuolo have reportedly identified Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic as a potential replacement for Manuel Locatelli, who has been linked with a move away from the club.

Arsenal are the club “ahead” in the race to sign the Italy midfielder – who shone for the Azzurri in their Euro 2020-winning campaign recently – according to Sassuolo’s sporting director Giovanni Carnevali.

However, Serie A giants Juventus also hold a key interest in Locatelli, making things more complicated for Mikel Arteta and Edu.

Carnevali told Sky Italia : “Juventus are the only Italian club we talked to about Locatell. We met last week with (Juventus sporting director Federico) Cherubini.

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“There is interest from their side, we haven’t explored all the terms and evaluations, but we have an excellent relationship with Juventus so we will continue these talks.

“It’s true that other clubs from abroad are interested, Arsenal are one of these and they are ahead of everyone else because they tabled the only concrete offer we have received so far.”

Now, according to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Sassuolo have identified forgotten Liverpool man Grujic as a potential Locatelli replacement.

Manuel Locatelli's replacement is already being eyed, according to reports
Manuel Locatelli’s replacement is already being eyed, according to reports

The 25-year-old Serbia international, who was Jurgen Klopp ‘s first signing as Reds boss back in 2016, has been out on loan to four different clubs during his underwhelming spell at Anfield.

Most recently, Grujic spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Porto, where he played 23 times in the Portuguese top-flight, but now it appears a move to Italy could be on the cards.

If Liverpool do offload their out-of-favour midfielder, who has just under two years remaining on his contract on Merseyside, then this theoretically paves the way for Arsenal to make a move for Locatelli.

But according to journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Locatelli is holding out for a move to Juventus despite the interest from the Gunners, who are looking to replace Granit Xhaka.

Xhaka has agreed personal terms over a move to AS Roma, but the two clubs are yet to agree on a fee for the Switzerland midfielder, understands.

Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Ruben Neves, Sander Berge and Donny van de Beek in recent weeks, with Arteta keen to bolster his midfield options ahead of the upcoming 2021/22 season.

Locatelli would be the ideal man to come in, in many Gunners fans’ eyes, following his impressive Euro 2020 campaign, but the north London club may require a helping hand from Premier League rivals Liverpool.

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