Arsenal linked with Juventus man who snubbed them in 2022 – ‘no mystery’ Arteta likes him

Jason Soutar
Reported Arsenal target Manuel Locatelli during a match

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli, more than a year on from the Italian rejecting a move to the Emirates.

The 24-year-old joined the Old Lady on an initial two-year loan from Sassuolo, with the obligation to buy for around £32million.

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Arsenal were very keen on bringing the Italian midfielder to north London before being beaten to his signature by Juventus.

The Gunners found themselves in a similar situation in the January window after pursuing Dusan Vlahovic for weeks only for him to sign for the Serie A giants from Fiorentina.

Competition for places in the centre of midfield is a lot more stern than it is up top, so the idea of Arsenal reemerging as a potential destination for Locatelli is not a crazy one.

Locatelli is competing against Adrien Rabiot, Weston McKennie, Leandro Paredes and Paul Pogba – who is currently injured – for a starting spot under Max Allegri.

Vlahovic, on the other hand, is fending off competition from Moise Kean and Arkadiusz Milik.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Juventus are open to selling Locatelli as they need to raise funds.

Allegri’s preferred midfield is believed to be Pogba, Paredes and Rabiot.

As a substitute and someone who is worth around £35m, Locatelli could be the ideal player to offload.

The report says he is not an ‘essential’ player, making him ‘sacrificable’.

It is ‘no mystery’ that Arsenal are fond of Locatelli and are contemplating making a ‘new lunge’ for the former Sassuolo man.

Of course, a lot will depend on how much a club offers to buy the player, with Mikel Arteta ‘liking’ the idea of making a fresh attempt to bring him to the Emirates.

Brighton and Newcastle United are also reportedly interested in signing Locatelli.

Speaking of Newcastle, they have reached an agreement to sign 18-year-old striker Garang Kuol from Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners in January.

Kuol made his international debut for Australia against New Zealand last week, becoming the youngest Socceroo since Harry Kewell in 1996.

He only made his A-League debut for the Mariners in April but made an immediate impression, scoring four goals in his first seven appearances as a substitute.

Kuol told Newcastle’s official website: “It’s unreal. As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they’ll reach those heights.

“To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it’s amazing.

“Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.”