World Football

Arsenal ahead of Juventus in race to sign Locatelli, claims Sassuolo director

Arsenal have made an offer for Italy international Manuel Locatelli and lead the race for his signature, claims Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali.

Sassuolo midfielder Locatelli, 23, has impressed at Euro 2020, scoring two goals for Italy in the 3-0 win over Switzerland and helping the Azzurri reach the quarterfinals by stepping up during Marco Verratti’s injury-enforced absence.

Locatelli’s performances, combined with a strong 2020-21 campaign for Sassuolo who finished eighth in Serie A, have garnered attention with Carnevali confirming strong interest from Arsenal and Juventus.

“Juventus are the only Italian club we talked to about Locatelli,” Carnevali told Sky Sport Italia. “They have interest, we spoke to [director Federico] Cherubini last week.

“We have not yet discussed the financial details, but we have a good rapport and will talk it over soon.

“It’s true that there are foreign clubs interested, including Arsenal, and so far they are ahead and are the only side realistically to have made an important proposal for Manuel.”

Spanish pair Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with Locatelli, who flirted with a switch to Juventus last off-season.

Carnevali added: “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,”

It is expected that Sassuolo will demand €50m for the former Milan youth product, who joined Sassuolo on loan in 2018 before signing permanently in 2019.

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