Arsenal have expressed a willingness to meet Sassuolo’s asking price for Manuel Locatelli, according to reports.
The Italy international was impressive during his nation’s triumphant campaign at Euro 2020.
Locatelli appeared in five of Italy’s seven matches at the tournament, including as a substitute in the penalty shootout victory over England in the final.
The 23-year-old was excellent for Sassuolo last term, playing an integral role in their eighth-place finish in Serie A.
Locatelli joined the club in 2019 after coming through the ranks at Milan, for whom he made 63 first-team appearances in all competitions.
Sassuolo are willing to cash in on him this summer, and Arsenal have emerged as strong contenders for his signature.
According to Fabrizio Romano, a transfer expert from Italy, the Gunners would be willing to pay the £34 million that Sassuolo are demanding.
Arsenal fans shouldn’t get too excited just yet, though. Locatelli is said to prefer a move to Juventus, who are also vying to sign him.
And Mikel Arteta’s side appear to acknowledge this, with Arsenal only willing to buy players who are 100% committed to joining the club.
As things stand, then, it does not seem likely that Locatelli will be plying his trade at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Arsenal’s search for a new midfielder will therefore continue. Houssem Aouar is a long-term target but is also wanted by a host of clubs around Europe.
The Gunners are expected to wrap up a deal for Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga sooner rather than later, but more additions to the engine room will be sought.
Granit Xhaka looks set to join Roma before the transfer window closes, while Matteo Guendouzi has been loaned to Marseille.
Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid after loan spells, leaving Arsenal short of options in midfield.
Arsenal fans will hope for better news in the club’s pursuit of Ben White, who is edging closer to completing a £50m switch from Brighton.
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