Manuel Locatelli transfer enters ‘decisive week’ with Arsenal to rush Juventus decision

Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season

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Juventus are wary of Arsenal’s interest in Italy star Manuel Locatelli as the future of the midfielder enters a ‘decisive week’, according to reports. Locatelli has shone at Euro 2020 as Roberto Mancini’s side have made it to the semi-final stage. The 23-year-old has scored two goals at the tournament, though did not feature in the quarter-final win over Belgium.

Locatelli’s performances have only seen his price tag at Sassuolo rise.

Arsenal are in the market for a midfielder and he is one of a list of targets for Mikel Arteta.

Last week, Sassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali claimed the Gunners had submitted a bid for Locatelli.

“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli,” Carnevali told Sky Italia.

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“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.”

However, Arsenal have denied that such a bid has been made for the player.

Italian outlet CalcioMercato now claims Juve are keen to complete a deal as soon as possible.

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Juve are aware of Arsenal’s interest in the player and view this week as decisive in the player’s future.

Sassuolo want £34.2million (€40m) for Locatelli but Juve are not prepared to pay that amount.

Negotiations will continue between the two Italian clubs and another meeting will be held this week.

Locatelli first joined Sassuolo on loan from AC Milan in 2018 with an obligation to buy the following summer.

He has made 99 appearances for the club, scoring seven goals.

Speaking last month, he insisted he was fully focused on competing at Euro 2020 rather than his future.

“When you’re involved in such an important competition, you’re only focused on the task in hand,” Locatelli said in June.

“We see the kids in the street when we travel to our games waving flags, so it’s quite easy to stay focused on the match.

“I’m focused on what happens on the pitch because that’s what is real. Everything else is just gossip and there’s no point worrying about it.”

Juve are also interested in re-signing Miralem Pjanic from Barcelona.

Pjanic will be allowed to leave Barca this summer after just one year at the Nou Camp.

Pjanic spent four years at Juve joining Barca last July.

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