Manuel Locatelli talks ‘really advanced’ in hint Arsenal could beat Juventus to transfer

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Sassuolo’s chief executive has dropped the biggest hint yet that Arsenal are serious players in the competition to sign Manuel Locatelli. Giovanni Carnevali’s latest statement will come as bad news for Juventus who make up the second party in what appears to be a two-horse race for the Italian’s signature.

Arsenal are set to begin next season with a new-look midfield with a number of players having either left or looking to leave in the coming weeks.

Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard both returned to Real Madrid, Matteo Guendouzi has joined Marseille and the likes of Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka are widely expected to be playing elsewhere next campaign.

Therefore, a first-team quality midfielder is a must for Mikel Arteta who must show improvement on the Gunners’ eighth-place finish last season.

Carnevali recently said: “We’re in talks for Locatelli with one club from abroad… and it’s really advanced.

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“We’re going to meet with Juventus in the next days, but there are no negotiations yet with Juve as Italian clubs are in difficult financial situation.”

As Arsenal are reportedly the most likely club from outside of Italy to sign Locatelli, the statement will come as a huge boost for fans of the north London side.

Last week, Carnevali claimed that the Gunners were ‘pushing hard’ to complete the signing, rumoured to be around £34million.

The Sassuolo midfielder’s performances at Euro 2020 have been eye-catching in a team who have battled all the way to the final in a tough half of the draw.

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English football fans will become even more familiar with him before his prospective move to Arsenal as the Three Lions lie in wait in the final.

However, although negotiations between the two clubs appear to be progressing well, there is no guarantee that the player himself will embrace the move.

Italian journalist Paolo Bargiggia recently claimed that Locatelli planned to reject any approach from the Gunners in favour of a move to Juventus.

In which case, Arteta and co. would be forced to focus their attention on their other midfield targets this summer.

Yves Bissouma and Renato Sanches are also on their hit list, although stiff competition would undoubtedly be faced on both fronts.

Albert Sambi Lokonga looks likely to join from Anderlecht with Benfica defender Nuno Tavares also poised to move to the Emirates.

Yet the absence of European football at Arsenal next season will make their summer business even harder, which is why securing a player like Locatelli at this stage would be such a fantastic result for all those concerned with the Gunners. 

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