Duncan Castles provides update on Arsenal link to Italy star

Duncan Castles discusses the latest on Manuel Locatelli's future amid reported interest from Arsenal

Italy and Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli (Photo: @locamanuel73 / Instagram)
Italy and Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli (Photo: @locamanuel73 / Instagram)

Arsenal are keen admirers of Manuel Locatelli but Juventus are leading the race for his signature, according to journalist Duncan Castles.

The midfielder earned lots of praise for his performances at Euro 2020 as he helped Roberto Mancini’s men to win this summer’s tournament.

Locatelli, 23, netted two goals in five games for Italy at the tournament as they claimed victory with a penalty shootout win over England in the final last month.

The midfielder scored four goals and made two assists in 34 Serie A games for Sassuolo last season and he has been linked with a move away from the Italian club this summer.

Juventus and Arsenal have both been credited with an interest in signing Locatelli this summer and Sassuolo’s CEO was last week quoted as saying that both clubs are interested in landing the player.

Now, Castles has discussed the speculation about Locatelli’s future, saying that Arsenal are admirers of the player but the Italy midfielder looks more likely to join Juventus this summer.

Speaking on The Transfer Window Podcast last week, Castles said: “Arsenal like Manuel Locatelli a lot. What’s not to like there? People think he was the best central midfielders in European football last season.

“He was recommended to Barcelona, who passed at the time because they didn’t think taking a player from Sassuolo was acceptable.

“We saw how he performed at Euro 2020. Arsenal have had a good go at trying to get him into their midfield but unfortunately they’re head-to-head with Juventus.

“We have the chief executive of Sassuolo taking on Thursday saying Locatelli wants to join Juve and they’d be happy to sell Manuel to Juve but Juve have to pay the right fee.

“They name-checked Arsenal to say they made a bid to sign him and a new Premier League club is in the race.

“That’s the kind of thing that executives of football clubs say when they’re trying to push a club they know a player wants to go to to pay a higher fee in the market.”

Arsenal will be looking to challenge for a top-four finish next season and they will kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Brentford on 13 August.

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