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Report: Juventus open talks with Sassuolo for Manuel Locatelli

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Oh really now? Really!

US Sassuolo v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Apparently being in the reported pole position to sign Manuel Locatelli has its benefits.

According to Nicolo Schira of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus and Sassuolo have begun talks over a potential summer deal for the 23-year-old Locatelli. Just how those talks have progressed of late or what kind of price it might cost to bring Locatelli to Turin this summer still is very much up in the air and something that hasn’t been reported on in recent weeks, but it’s a sign. You know, a sign that Juventus are reportedly trying to get the kind of player — especially in the midfield — that they desperately need right now.

While a deal for Locatelli may include the likes of somebody like Nicolo Faglioli, according to Schira — and to what extent is unsure — talks with Sassuolo are good and they should continue to happen.

Locatelli has long been identified as a top transfer target for Juventus. It was the case last summer when Juve weren’t able to work out a deal with Sassuolo, and it most certainly is going to be the case this summer as the midfield continues to be the glaring weakness on this squad. Locatelli, who turned 23 all of two months ago in January, is the right kind of skillset as well as age that Juventus desperately need in the midfield — that’s no secret.

What it will take to actually get him is another matter.

Schira has previously reported that Locatelli’s price tag could be upwards of €40 million. And if that is indeed the case, then Juventus will be hard-pressed not to try and get creative as possible to even come close to getting it done. With how the club’s finances are and barring any kind of major sale, the possibility of straight-cash and “simple” deals just doesn’t seem all that likely. Could Juventus get a deal done for Locatelli in the same kind of way that they did with Fiorentina for Federico Chiesa? Sure, but that wasn’t easy, either. It’s not like Sassuolo don’t know that Locatelli is wanted by other clubs, too.

The biggest thing for Juventus — besides signing Locatelli, of course — is making sure that any sort of bidding war doesn’t take place. There have been rumors of Manchester City lurking around and potentially being in the hunt to sign Locatelli, although Fabrizio Romano says that any kind of deal isn’t even close to happening just yet.

So now we wait. And see if the talks between Juventus and Sassuolo progress. Hopefully they do, because that means Locatelli is just that much closer to becoming a Juve player.