Arsenal’s hopes of signing Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli are all but over.
The Gunners are in the market for reinforcements in the middle of the park following Dani Ceballos’ return to Real Madrid after his two-season loan spell and after Matteo Guendouzi’s move to Marseille was confirmed.
Furthermore, with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira also expected to depart the Emirates Stadium before the summer transfer window closes, Mikel Arteta must act fast or risk being left with few midfield options next season.
One player that has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal has been Locatelli and there has been mixed reports in the media regarding the club’s stance on the Italy international.
Firstly, Sassuolo chief executive Giovanni Carnevali claimed last week that the Gunners had made an offer for the 23-year-old who reportedly has an £34m price-tag.
“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli,” Carnevali told reporters. “They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid… we will see.
“Juventus also want Locatelli and we have a special relationship with them. A new meeting has been scheduled with Juve.
“We are trying to leave the lad calm, so I haven’t spoken to him or his agents yet.
“We can think about Locatelli’s future, but above all we care about his present and that means Italy doing well at the Euros.”
However, as reported by Goal, no official bid was lodged, with Arsenal ready to step in if Juventus are unable to reach Sassuolo’s asking price for Locatelli.
With that said, it would appear that the midfielder has no plans to join Arteta’s side regardless of what happens with Juve.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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According to Italian journalist Paolo Bargiggia, Locatelli has said ‘no’ to joining Arsenal.
“Juventus will take him for sure. The boy said no to Arsenal,” said Bargiggia, as per Sport Witness. “The formula is complex: Juve are doing everything not to take him under the obligation of redemption, while Sassuolo push.
“There’s talk of a €40m operation. Eventually, it will do: one way or another.”