Arsenal make club ‘tremble’ with €40m offer for midfielder

Joe Williams
Manuel Locatelli Italy Arsenal
Manuel Locatelli Italy

The first official offer from Arsenal for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli is worth €40m, according to reports in Italy.

The midfielder has been one of the standout performers for Italy in their Euro 2020 campaign with his two goals in their 3-0 victory over Switzerland a particular highlight.

Locatelli bagged four goals and three assists to help Sassuolo to an eighth-placed finish in Serie A, which has also caught the eye of returning Juventus manager Max Allegri.

Big Weekend: Ukraine v England, Italy v Belgium, Switzerland

Sassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali revealed a couple of days ago that Arsenal had made an “official offer” for the Italy international.

“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli,” Carnevali told Sky Italia. “They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid… we will see.

“Juventus also want Locatelli and we have a special relationship with them. A new meeting has been scheduled with Juve.”

The suggestion that Juventus are also heavily interested in Locatelli means that Sassuolo are hoping to see a bidding war for one of their star men.

However, TuttoMercatoWeb (via Sport Witness) reckon the Gunners’ opening offer of €40m has already seen Sassuolo’s ‘legs tremble’ with the bid from Arsenal viewed as ‘important’.

In a possible blow to Arsenal, Locatelli has given the ‘OK’ to Juventus’ interest in him. But, there is some good news for the Premier League side, with the Old Lady hoping to pay the €40m fee in instalments, while the Gunners are happy to pay the majority of the fee up front.

However, The Times claim that Arsenal have denied any bid for Locatelli has been made with the Gunners unsure about a potential deal.

The Times say that ‘Arsenal have admitted their interest in signing Manuel Locatelli but deny Sassuolo’s claim that they have bid for the Italy midfielder.’

The newspaper adds: ‘Arsenal have had talks to sign him but they believe Juventus are ahead in the race and their interest has been made public to try to ensure Sassuolo obtain their £34 million valuation.’

When asked about trying to ignore transfer speculation, Locatelli recently said: “Yes I think when you’re involved in such an important competition such as this one you’re only focused on the task in hand.

“We see the kids in the street when they come and watch our games as well, so it’s actually quite easy to stay focused on the match.”