Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali has revealed that a number of offers have already been tabled for the services of Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who has been heavily linked with a summer move to Arsenal. The 23-year-old has been among the standout performers at Euro 2020, chipping in with two goals in four appearances for the Azzurri.
Locatelli has been tipped to join Arsenal over the coming months, with the Gunners on the lookout for additional reinforcements in the middle of the park.
Loanee pair Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid ahead of the new campaign, while Granit Xhaka is believed to be closing in on a move to Roma.
Juventus have also been credited with an interest in Locatelli, and Carnevali has claimed that the Serie A heavyweights have already been in contact over the possibility of securing his signature.
The Sassuolo chief also told Sky Sport Italia that Juventus are not the only interested party, admitting that other bids have been lodged from foreign clubs, but stressed that any decision on the midfielder’s future will be forced to wait until after the conclusion of the Euros.
“We have received offers for Locatelli, but also Domenico Berardi, Giacomo Raspadori and Jeremie Boga have requests,” said Carnevali.
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“We will talk about Locatelli when Euro 2020 ends, we want to leave him calm until Sunday. We have received important offers for him, talks with one of which are very well underway.
“We met with Juve and we made an appointment next week but it is all to be evaluated.
“Today the Italian market has great difficulties, offers come from abroad, and it is clear that we have players who are hungry to play for big clubs.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to pip Juventus to the signing of Locatelli in time for next season.
The Gunners are said to be nearing the addition of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga for a reported £15million fee, suggesting that a move for the Sassuolo man could be snubbed in order to focus on addressing the club’s other problem areas.
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell recently suggested that Locatelli would be the perfect addition this summer as Mikel Arteta targets a return to the Premier League’s upper reaches at the next available opportunity.
“It would be huge if we can get him,” Campbell told Football Insider. “We have seen what a great player he is at the Euros.
“Normally, Italians like to stay in their own country, especially when Juventus come calling. But the great thing for Arsenal is Juventus do not have the money anymore.
“With financial fair play they have to box straight. It gives Arsenal a great opportunity to get a world-class midfielder in beside Thomas Partey.
“Go for it. Go and get him, please Arsenal.”
Locatelli made 34 appearances for Sassuolo last season, chipping in with four goals and three assists to help clinch an eighth-placed finish in Serie A.
He may have an outside chance of being selected to start Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against England, with Italy boss Roberto Mancini preferring a midfield trio of Marco Verratti, Nicolo Barella and Jorginho in recent outings.
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