Over the last few weeks, things have been relatively quiet in the transfer rumor front. Seeing as the season is the focus and team’s aren’t racing to get deals done before the books close on the fiscal year, that’s not much of a surprise. But, it’s gone relatively silent since then — which, in a normal year, would be completely crazy seeing as the middle of July is the time when transfer dealings and rumors are heating up.
That might be changing.
At least a little bit.
According to a report from Tuttosport on Monday, Juventus has opened talks with Sassuolo fo 20-year-old midfielder Manuel Locatelli. Maybe that’s a convenient report seeing as Juve are set to head over to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy for a Wednesday night matchup with that same Sassuolo team that has found a nice little vein of form in recent weeks. But there is this little piece of information as well: Locatelli has been tabbed with a €25 million price tag by Sassuolo.
Obviously, knowing what kind of financial constraints all clubs are under this summer (and probably the next few transfer windows after that) due to the coronavirus pandemic, Juventus will try like all hell to not pay a full €25 million transfer fee if they do intend to try and sign Locatelli later this summer. It is because of that notion that Tuttosport believes that Juventus could dip into its well of talented youngsters to try and lower that fee. The name that Tuttosport has centered in on as the player that could head to Sassuolo is Hans Nicolussi Caviglia, who recently turned 20 years old and has spent the 2019-20 season on loan with Perugia in Serie B.
Locatelli, who moved from Milan to Sassuolo last summer, has had a pretty strong breakout season during the current campaign. He’s one of the big reasons why Sassuolo has been able to move up into the top half of the table as well as surpass last year’s point total with plenty of room to spare. Locatelli, who turned 22 years old back in January, is one of five (!!) Sassuolo players to record at least five assists during the 2019-20 season, appearing in 27 games (25 starts) along the way.
Pursuing Locatelli, which for now is more press chatter than actual talk from the mouth of Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici, would continue the trend of Juve’s summer to get the midfield younger and acquire players who still have room to grow. Locatelli has been a familiar name to many since he broke through with Milan as a teenager, but moving to Sassuolo and away from the San Siro has proven the right decision for him to get things back on track. He is very much the kind of midfielder that makes sense for the brand of football that Juventus’ current manager wants to play, and the kind of midfielder that Juve certainly needs more of in the future.