Juventus ‘plan’ to offer midfielder (not Locatelli) in swap deal for out-of-favour Arsenal youngster

Date published: Thursday 20th October 2022 7:06 - Jason Soutar

Arsenal midfielder Sambi Lokonga after a match

Juventus are willing to offer Weston McKennie in exchange for Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, according to a report in Italy.

Lokonga was signed by Mikel Arteta last summer for around £16million.

The 22-year-old left Anderlecht having captained the Belgian side on multiple occasions despite his inexperience.

He made his Belgium debut last September after starting and finishing two of the Gunners’ opening three Premier League fixtures.

Those fixtures did not exactly go to plan, but Lokonga was a bright spark in what was a horrendous start to the season for Arsenal.

Lokonga played frequently in the first half of the season with Granit Xhaka out injured, however, the Belgian struggled for game time after the Swiss midfielder returned.

However, he is usually called upon whenever Thomas Partey is out injured, which is quite often.

The former Anderlecht midfielder has started twice in the league this term but is one of the first names on the teamsheet whenever his side play in the Europa League.

He has admitted to being frustrated at his lack of game time, but knows the Emirates is the right place for him to be.

However, Italian outlet Calcio Mercato News reckon Lokonga is attracting interest from Serie A giants Juventus.

The Old Lady have plenty of options in the centre of midfield and will reportedly tempt Arsenal into offloading the young Belgian playmaker by offering them McKennie in a swap deal.

It is unclear whether or not Arsenal are keen on signing the American.

They have been heavily linked with his teammate Manuel Locatelli and reportedly tried to sign him from Sassuolo last summer.

Juventus are clearly struggling to find the right formula in midfield having signed six different central midfielders in the previous three seasons.

Leandro Paredes, Paul Pogba, McKennie, Locatelli, Rolando Mandragora and Arthur Melo have all joined the Italian giants between 2020 and 2022.

McKennie has featured consistently in a struggling Juventus side under Max Allegri this season.

However, once Pogba and/or Federico Chiesa return from injury, the 24-year-old could find himself back on the bench.

The report says that Lokonga is valued at €14million, though the Gunners will likely ask for more should Juve come calling.

This means Juve are ‘planning’ to offer McKennie to tempt Arteta’s side into business.

It is mentioned in the report that it is unlikely that Arsenal will swap Lokonga for McKennie as Arteta will be reluctant to ‘disrupt’ what is a winning start to the season.

This is not the first time McKennie has been linked with a swap deal move to the Premier League.

It was reported in January that Tottenham tried to sign the American international.

This was before Rodrigo Bentancur joined the club.

Spurs apparently offered Tanguy Ndombele in exchange, but Juve were unsurprisingly uninterested.

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