Arsenal ‘above all’ in race for bargain Euro 2020 star as Juve make ‘great sacrifices’

Will Ford
Locatelli Italy

Arsenal are reportedly ‘above all’ in the race for Juventus star Manuel Locatelli, who could be available at a bargain price this summer.

Locatelli moved to Juventus from Sassuolo on loan after he starred at Euro 2020 for Italy and has since made 75 appearances for the Old Lady.

He will move to Juve on a permanent basis in the summer for €30m as the Serie A giants have an obligation to buy the 25-year-old.

But he could then immediately be on his way out of Juventus, who want to ‘make room’ in their squad for other targets wanted by manager Max Allegri.

They need to make money through player sales before they go after their top targets this summer, which is why they plan to make ‘great sacrifices’, according to CalcioMercatoWeb (via Sport Witness).

Locatelli’s departure appears to be one of those sacrifices, and the report clams Arsenal are ‘above all’ in the race for Locatelli.

Indeed, no other competitors for his signature are mentioned in the report, which also states that the Gunners could land the Italy international at a bargain price.

It’s thought Arsenal are on the lookout for a new midfielder despite the signing of Jorginho from Chelsea in the summer.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has also been linked, but reports suggest West Ham’s Declan Rice is their top target.

But Gunners beware, Chelsea remain in the frame for Rice and CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has warned of “parallels” to the Mykhaylo Mudryk hijack.

Jacobs said: “Chelsea obviously want to further strengthen their central midfield. They will battle Arsenal for Declan Rice. The West Ham midfielder has spoken glowingly about Mikel Arteta and wants Champions League football. But Chelsea certainly haven’t given up.

“David Moyes is citing Enzo Fernandez’s British-record transfer (£107m/€121m). Arsenal don’t want to go that high. Chelsea might be prepared to offer West Ham a stronger financial package, in which case there are some loose parallels with the Mykhaylo Mudryk hijack.

“But the big difference is both clubs have been eyeing up Rice for quite some time, and working on the player side, and Chelsea have never been clear frontrunners.

“When Arsenal and Chelsea go head-to-head for a player it’s always a battle of styles. Arsenal have a more developed project and almost certain Champions League football, but Chelsea have a long-term vision and aren’t afraid to offer good money, even within their new model, which is designed to lower the overall wage bill.

“I think what helps Arsenal, though, is they may be prepared to spend a bit more on top targets given the season they’re having and income they’ll bring in.”

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