Arsenal have been linked with a move to sign Italy and Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli again, a year after he rejected the opportunity to sign for the Gunners.
Locatelli was a star in the Serie A for Sassuolo. He made a name for himself as one of the best midfielders in the country there, and that caught Arsenal’s attention last year. However, the Italian chose to join Juventus instead.
Manuel Locatelli rejected Arsenal last year
Throughout the European Championships last year, Arsenal were heavily linked with a move to sign Locatelli. Fabrizio Romano revealed that Arsenal felt he was the ‘perfect’ player for them, and the Gunners even tabled a big bid to sign him.
Sassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali revealed last year that he was ready to sell Locatelli to the highest bidder. Out of all the clubs interested, it was Arsenal who offered the most money, but Locatelli did not fancy a move to the Emirates.
The Italian’s heart was set on joining Juventus, and Sassuolo had no choice but to let him move to Turin. Juve signed him on a two-year loan deal with an obligation to make that move permanent for £32.4 million at the end of this season – £2.6 million less than what Arsenal offered last year.
Carnevali said at the time, as quoted by The Sun: “It’s not easy to understand for those who do not have the skills. This operation has brought a positive result and benefits to both clubs, even if certain technicalities are complicated to explain.
“The truth is that at the end of the 2022-2023 season, the obligation to redeem the player will be triggered and we will be guaranteed to collect the €37m plus agreed upon. Locatelli is so far the player bought at the highest price in Serie A this summer.
“Arsenal offered us €40m (£35m), but Locatelli’s will was to go only to Juventus and we did everything to please him. A request, that of Arsenal, which cost us something…”
Arsenal have been linked with him again
Reports revealed this week that Arsenal have emerged as a ‘surprise destination’ for Locatelli.
The Italian’s time at Juventus hasn’t been great at all, and there’s a good chance he’ll be allowed to leave Turin at the end of this season.
The report claims that Arsenal, who have been interested in Locatelli for a long time, ‘could suddenly return’ with an offer to sign the Italian midfielder next summer.
The Gunners definitely need a new man in the middle of the park, but whether they’ll go back in for a player who rejected them remains to be seen.