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Report: Juventus, Manuel Locatelli agree to personal terms on five-year contract

It’s a step in the right direction, but not the biggest step to get a deal done.

Parma Calcio v US Sassuolo - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Even as rumors continue to swirl that Max Allegri might want to get some of the old band back together from his first stint at Juventus, the chatter surrounding the Bianconeri’s interesting in Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli hasn’t died down one bit. It’s hard to go a day without some sort of link, some sort of front-page story linking the 23-year-old Locatelli and a potential move to Juventus.

That’s good considering he’s the kind of midfielder Juve needs in the worst possible way.

And while Juventus still has plenty of work to do with Sassuolo — which will almost certainly come after Italy’s campaign at the Euros — there’s at least one part of the equation out of the way.

According to Nicolo Schira early Tuesday, Juventus and Locatelli’s representation have agreed to personal terms on a contract that would run through 2026 if he were to sign with the Bianconeri later this summer. The reported terms of the deal are: a five-year contract through 2026 and a net salary of €3 million per season, which would be nearly three times as much as he made at Sassuolo this past season.

As we say virtually every time a report like this comes out for a Juventus transfer target: It’s obviously a good thing that the contract is out of the way, but the major lifting still needs to be done. And knowing that Sassuolo are holding off on serious Locatelli discussions until after the Euros, then it is still very much a TBD kind of situation in terms of what it will take to get the Italy international to Turin this summer.

As you can see from the tweet above, Sassuolo’s floor for a transfer fee is probably around €40 million. But, like I said, that’s a pre-Euro number and if Locatelli goes on to have a productive tournament, then you can bet your backside that Sassuolo’s asking price is going up as they look to cash in on a hot commodity. Rumors have been popping up throughout the last couple of weeks that have said the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also potential players in the Locatelli sweepstakes — which, if you’re Sassuolo, is something you would love to see since that means a chance to sign €40 million likely isn’t all that possible.

So while we wait for the actual negotiations to heat up — and hopefully involve Juventus to the utmost ability — at least there’s one step of the process out of the way. ... Right?